Some of the traditional barriers to health care have been eliminated or reduced by the use of technology that helps deliver health care to patients from a distance. This is defined as telemedicine. According to the American Telemedicine Association, telemedicine is defined thus: “the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve a patient’s clinical health status.” (“What is Telemedicine,” 2016).
There are a variety of uses and applications of telemedicine and the users are growing rapidly. There are regular innovation and upgrades of the applications of telemedicine in the medical world. While the use of two-way video, or email, or over smartphones and other wireless tools and devices making use of the internet or telecommunications technology has become commonplace in the modern health care system, the application is finding its real use in delivering regular and much-needed health care services and products to the rural population or for communities that are far flung and generally remain cut off from health care services (Doarn & Merrell, 2011).
To the extent that telemedicine is now getting integrated into the ongoing operations of various hospitals, the specialty departments, agencies that deliver health care at home and for the private physicians and offices as well as for the consumer’s homes and workplaces, this offshoot of medical service has progressed in leaps and bounds over the last 40 years. The development of telecommunications has definitely helped in the spread and further research into telemedicine. Most often such researchers are funded by private of government hospitals which aim to reach out to patients who are either remotely placed or are incapacitated in one way or the other to come to the hospitals or to the private physician. Another aspect of telemedicine is to provide ease of treatment to patients by bringing in the consultation to their homes.
While telemedicine is not regarded as a separate medical specialty, much of the investments into the service and the products offered through telemedicine is part of the larger investments that are made by healthcare institutions in clinical care or in information technology or both. Telemedicine has become an integral part of the modern healthcare and is even recognized as valid in the reimbursement fee structure of medicine. There is generally no distinction made between services rendered through telemedicine and those that are delivered on site in a health care setting.…