“Telemedicine is the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve patients’ health status” (Wager, Lee, & Glaser, 2013, p. 156.)
Telemedicine is a tool that enables providers to deliver health care services to patients at distant location, and it is often promoted as a means of addressing the imbalances in the distribution of health care resources (Wager, Lee, & Glaser, 2013, p. 156.)
Telemedicine can be as simple as a telephone conversation among two doctors at different locations or as complex as using satellite technology to provide a consultation between a doctor and a patient that are located in different countries.
Telemedicine can also include the use of e-mail, smart phones, wireless tools, and other forms of telecommunications technologies (Wager, Lee, & Glaser, 2013, p. 156.)
According to Wager, Lee, and Glaser there are two delivery methods that can be used to connect providers with providers or providers with patients (Wager, Lee, & Glaser, 2013, p. 157.)
The first is called store to forward, which is used transferring digital images from one location to another (Wager, Lee, & Glaser, 2013, p. 157).
The second is called two-way interactive video conferencing, which is used when a face-to-face consultation is required (Wager, Lee, & Glaser, 2013, p. 157).
Using two-way interactive video conferencing can allow specialist provider’s access to their patients in rural communities without having to travel.
The military and in university research, there are other forms of telemedicine such as robotic equipment used for telesurgery.
Telemedicine can make specialty care more accessible to rural and medically underserved communities and can easily connect providers at distant locations (Wager, Lee, & Glaser, 2013, p. 158).
Telemedicine is the best form of health information technologies for bringing the patients and providers together in order to reach the maximum results of diagnoses and treatments.
Since patients with chronic illnesses are more likely to see a specialist than a primary care physician, telemedicine has shown promising results in improving access to quality care with progressive outcomes.
Telemedicine may hold the most promise for addressing health care disparities that are specifically related to lack of access to specialty care and other resources typically available only at large, tertiary medical centers (Sequist, 2011, p.1085).
Patients may also receive direct consultation, evaluation, and treatment via telemedicine to expand access and quality of care (Sequist, 2011, p.1085).
Telemedicine is most often defined as the use of current telecommunication and information technologies to provide health services at a distance (
It can aid in the improvement to patients’ access to health care and information and their communication with providers, which ultimately can provide health promotion, self-management of disease, and shared medical decision-making. ...