Telemedicine a Technological Based Modality

Telemedicine is an emerging technology in contemporary healthcare. Healthcare providers acknowledge the disadvantages of a strenuous distance between patients and providers. Researches and studies, as evidenced by the scientific literature, are conducted to find a way to enhance the delivery of care. As Field (1996) stated, "the intersection of many of these efforts is telemedicine, a combination of mainstream and innovative information technologies".

Telemedicine, as defined by the Field (1996), is “the use of electronic information and communications technologies to provide and support health care when distant separates the participant” (Introduction and background section, para.1). The prefix, from the Greek telos, implies distance. This prefix is particularly fitting as telemedicine is often utilized to connect medically deprived, geographically isolated, or distant areas with medical centers so that less highly trained, on-site personnel can provide health services with long distance help (Zundel, 1996). Closely associated with telemedicine is the term “telehealth”, which is often used to encompass a broader definition of remote healthcare that does not always involve clinical services. Videoconferencing, transmission of still images, e-health including patient portals, remote monitoring of vital signs, continuing medical education and nursing call centers are all considered part of telemedicine and telehealth ( American Telemedicine A, 1993).

Because telehealth is a complex and dynamic concept,telehealth’s implementation and impact is debated in the literature and thus requires systematic assessment. While it is not within the scope of this paper to provide a comprehensive review of the literature, an overview will be g...

... middle of paper ...

...from http://

United States Department of Agriculture. (2011). Release No. 0030.11: Agriculture secretary

Vilsack announces funding to increase educational and health care access in rural

communities. Retrieved from


Wade, V. A., Karnon, J. Elshaug, A., & Hiller, J. E. (2010). A systematic review of economic

analyses of telehealth services using real time video communication. BMC Health

Service Research, 10.

Whitten, P. (2002). Telemedicine in Michigan: A policy report addressing legal and regulatory barriers. Retrieved March 30, 2011, from

Zundel, K. (1996). Telemedicine: history, applications, and impact on librarianship. Bull Med Libr
Get Access