Telemedicine: Definition, Benefits and Limitations
Nigerian Quarterly Journal of Hospital Medicine
Advances in information and telecommunication technology have brought about new opportunities and capabilities to the delivery of health care services, but these are not without limitations and threats. Telemedicine encompasses my medical activity involving an element of distance and telecommunication in doctor-patients interaction. it may serve as a valuable tool for providing much needed medical services to underserved rural areas in resource poor countries. It allows better utilization of scare medical personnel and resources and promise to enhance continued medical education of young doctors, nurses and other health care practitioners in rural areas, both in training and in established practices. A practical, cheap, “store and forward, electronic mail-based communication may be used to send patients data with image file attachments for expert consultation any where in the world. Issues of major concern in telemedicine are related to security and confidentially of patient data. The cost of establishing telemedicine in resource poor countries must be balanced against need for drugs, medical equipment central control. There is need for national and international central control bodies to license and supervise telemedicine practices. This paper reviews aspects of telemedicine including its clinical applications, cost effectiveness and limitations.
Information & Communication Technology , Health care services , Telemedicine , Medical Education , Research Subject Categories::MEDICINE::Surgery::Obstetrics and women's diseases::Obstetrics and gynaecology
Okoromah CN, Afolabi BB. Telemedicine: Definition, Benefits and Limitations. Nigerian Quarterly Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2003; 13:58-61.