Telemedicine is the use of telecommunication and information technologies to provide clinical health care at a distance. It helps eliminate distance barriers and can improve access to medical services that would often not be consistently available in distant rural communities.
Telemedicine can be beneficial to patients in isolated communities and remote regions, who can receive care from doctors or specialists far away without the patient having to travel to visit them. Recent developments in mobile collaboration technology can allow healthcare professionals in multiple locations to share information and discuss patient issues as if they were in the same place. Remote patient monitoring through mobile technology can reduce the need for outpatient visits and enable remote prescription verification and drug administration oversight, potentially significantly reducing the overall cost of medical care. Telemedicine can also facilitate medical education by allowing workers to observe experts in their fields and share best practices more easily.
Telemedicine also can eliminate the possible transmission of infectious diseases or parasites between patients and medical staff. Additionally, some patients who feel uncomfortable in a doctors office may do better remotely. Patients who are home-bound and would otherwise require an ambulance to move them to a clinic are also a consideration.