Definition

telemedicine

Telemedicine (also known as e-care) is the remote delivery of healthcare services over the telecommunications infrastructure.

The American Telemedicine Association offers some examples of telemedicine:

• A radiologist interprets medical images coming from four clinics across the state.
• A consumer uses a wireless phone to automatically upload vital signs and send it to a remote monitoring center.
• A cardiologist checks up on a heart transplant patient while away on a business trip, reviewing the patient’s chart, looking at live heart rhythms and talking to the patient.

Telemedicine is a subset of telehealth, which includes both remote clinical service delivery and non-clinical elements of the healthcare system. In practice, however, the two terms are often used interchangeably.

Learn more:

FAQ: What is telemedicine and how can it save money?

How telemedicine can change health IT.

This was last updated in January 2011
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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