|The term Telemedicine is the delivery of medicine at a distance. The term is composed of the Greek word te?e (tele) meaning 'far', and medicine. |
The term Telemedicine is the delivery of medicine at a distance. The term is composed of the Greek word te?e (tele) meaning 'far', and medicine. Telemedicine may be as simple as two health professionals discussing a case over the telephone, or as complex as using satellite technology and video-conferencing equipment to conduct a real-time consultation between medical specialists in two different countries.
Telemedicine generally refers to the use of communications and information technologies for the delivery of clinical care.
Care at a distance (also called in absentia care), is an old practice which was often conducted via post; there has been a long and successful history of in absentia health care, which - thanks to modern communication technology - has metamorphosised into what we know as modern telemedicine.
In its early manifestations, African villagers used smoke signals to warn people to stay away from the village in case of serious disease. In the early 1900s, people living in remote areas in Australia used two-way radios, powered by a dynamo driven by a set of bicycle pedals, to communicate with the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia.
The terms e-health and telehealth are at times wrongly interchanged with telemedicine. Like the terms "medicine" and "health care", telemedicine often refers only to the provision of clinical services while the term telehealth can refer to clinical and non-clinical services such as medical education, administration, and research. The term e-health is often, particularly in the U.K. and Europe, used as an umbrella term that includes telehealth, electronic medical records, and other components of health IT.
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