University of Khartoum

Telemedicine – recent advances

Telemedicine – recent advances

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Title: Telemedicine – recent advances
Author: Patterson, Victor
Abstract: Telemedicine, the practice of medicine when the doctor and the patient are not in the same place, has been shown to be an effective way to deliver services in many different settings. Applied properly it can either enable a service to be provided that could not be done face-to-face (FF) or it can improve the quality of an existing FF service, usually by making it more patient-centred or less expensive. Telemedicine has been used successfully in both rich and poor countries using email, webservers, telephone, texting or videolink. Most telemedicine has been between a specialist and another doctor or health professional but some has been between a specialist and a patient. The latter has become much more possible with the widespread adoption of mobile phones. Also the increased adoption of “smartphones” which are able to access the internet either over a wireless or 3G network has produced a new branch of medicine called “mhealth”. Applications (apps) can be written specifically for smartphones and these have a number of functions including enabling non-specialists to diagnose episodes of altered consciousness as epilepsy or not. This has the potential to devolve medical functions safely to non-doctors and this should enable more people with untreated epilepsy to be treated. In richer countries tele-monitoring of patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, and congestive heart failure is being used increasingly and has been shown to prevent hospital admissions. The adoption of telemedicine in most healthcare systems has been slow because the benefit of telemedicine is to patients and not to doctors. Doctors need to be incentivised to use telemedicine for their patients’ benefit. How to provide that incentive is challenging and may be a role for governments
URI: http://khartoumspace.uofk.edu/handle/123456789/19558
Date: 2015


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