A Brief Note On The American Telemedicine Association

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Introduction The American Telemedicine Association defines in their web site Telemedicine as the use of electronic communications systems in the exchange of medical information from one site to another in an effort to improve a patient’s health status. Telemedicine has become an important tool in the health care field due to the rapid development in information technologies and the growing need for aid mechanisms allowing maximum and prompt access to health care services to a growing population as well as remote, underserved locations. The concept of using technology to transmit information relating to the care of a sick patient may date back several years. Perhaps, the telegraph and later the telephone are great examples of how technological breakthroughs changed the way medicine was practiced in favor of better patient outcomes. The creation of the internet and the arrival of mobile communication devices have opened the gates and made the possibilities vast. There are at least two types of telemedicine described by the literature. These include that in which medical data is acquired and later transmitted without the need for both parties to be present at the same time, “Store-and-Forward” (i.e. electronic medical records, email), and “Interactive” where real-time interaction occurs between the health care provider and the patient. The American Medical Association has also described remote monitoring through devices as yet a third category of telemedicine category.

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