Monday, July 18, 2011

Telemedicine Defined

Here is how the American Telemedicine Association defines telemedicine:
Telemedicine is the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve patients' health status. 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.

Telemedicine is not a separate medical specialty. Products and services related to telemedicine are often part of a larger investment by health care institutions in either information technology or the delivery of clinical care. Even in the reimbursement fee structure, there is usually no distinction made between services provided on site and those provided through telemedicine and often no separate coding required for billing of remote services.

Telemedicine encompasses different types of programs and services provided for the patient. Each component involves different providers and consumers.
It's really exciting to see all the advances in the world of telemedicine. As mobile devices become more powerful, they will become the foundation of telemedicine delivery.

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