Introduction to Telemedicine



What is Telemedicine

Telemedicine is an upcoming field in health science arising out of the effective fusion of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) with Medical Science having enormous potential in meeting the challenges of healthcare delivery to rural and remote areas besides several other applications in education, training and management in health sector. It may be as simple as two health professionals discussing medical problems of a patient and seeking advice over a simple telephone to as complex as transmission of electronic medical records of clinical information, diagnostic tests such as E.C.G., radiological images etc. and carrying out real time interactive medical video conference with the help of IT based hardware and software, video-confernce using broadband telecommunication media provided by satellite and terrestrial network.
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Definition

There are several definitions of telemedicine. According to World Health Organisation, telemedicine is defined as, “The delivery of healthcare services, where distance is a critical factor, by all healthcare professionals using information and communication technologies for the exchange of valid information for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and injuries, research and evaluation, and for continuing education of healthcare providers, all in the interests of advancing the health of individuals and their communities”.