May 10, 2016

What Is Telemedicine?

What we mean by telemedicine

Different people mean different things by the term “telemedicine”.

Telemedicine is making doctor to doctor and doctor to patient interaction possible through the Internet and video chat or other means.

When possible we use equipment that allows shared use of stethoscopes, ultrasound probes and other diagnostic tools in real time. If we have to, we can resort to less sophisticated tools such as email with images as attachments or even fax.

What we do NOT mean by telemedicine

For some people, telemedicine means a way for patients to send their vital signs or other data to their doctor, clinic or hospital from home. We call that “telehealth”.

For some people, it means having fixed video cameras in the ICU to remote doctors can see what is going on and catch errors or omissions in patient treatment. We call that “telemonitoring” because it does not allow for patient interaction with the remote doctor.