WHAT IS TELEMEDICINE? In brief, telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services and clinical information using telecommunications technology. This includes a wide array of clinical services using the Internet, wireless, satellite and telephone media.
WHAT IS THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN TELEMEDICINE AND TELEHEALTH? It is commonly understood to treat "telemedicine" and "telehealth" as synonyms and most use the terms interchangeably. In both cases, we are referring to the use of remote healthcare technology to deliver clinical services.
HOW TYPICAL IS TELEMEDICINE? Telemedicine is a significant and rapidly growing component of healthcare in the United States. There are currently about 200 telemedicine networks, with 3,500 service sites in the US. Nearly 1 million Americans are currently using remote cardiac monitors and in 2011, the Veterans Health Administration delivered over 300,000 remote consultations using telemedicine. Over half of all U.S. hospitals now use some form of telemedicine. Around the world, millions of patients use telemedicine to monitor their vital signs, remain healthy and out of hospitals and emergency rooms. Consumers and physicians download health and wellness applications for use on their cell phones.
IS TELEMEDICINE SAFE? Yes. Guided by technical standards and clinical practice guidelines, and backed by decades of research and demonstrations, telemedicine is a safe and cost-effective way to extend the delivery of healthcare. The American Telemedicine Association has produced a series of standards, guidelines and best practices for healthcare providers to ensure that they are using telemedicine responsibly.
IS TELEMEDICINE THE FUTURE OF MEDICINE? We believe it is. Telemedicine is growing very quickly and it helps individuals in busy cities or very rural areas receive care from physicians they would normally not have access to.