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Proceedings Paper

Telehealth: current practices and future directions
Author(s): Yadin B. David
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Paper Abstract

When we review the positive impact that the integration of ostensibly independent patient-care services have on the efficient management of quality care, education, and collaborative research, it is not surprising that telehealth deployment is on the rise. The forces that drive this phenomenon include: the need to manage the entire disease episode; the desire for wider geographically-distributed quality health care; the escalation of customer expectations; globalization of healthcare and its support services; an increase in patient and provider convenience; and the acceptance of the present technological community. At the Telehealth Center at the Texas Children's Hospital, current classifications of clinical applications are listed: (1) initial urgent evaluation of patients, (2) triage decisions and pretransfer arrangements, (3) medical and surgical follow-up and medication review, (4) consultation for primary care encounters, (5) real-time subspecialty care consultation and planning, (6) management of chronic diseases and conditions, (7) extended diagnostic work-ups, (8) review of diagnostic images, and (9) preventive medicine and patient education. The delivery of such services is associated with challenges and opportunities. As we move forward from limited data processing to an integrated communication system, from centralized main frame functions to personalized and location-independent workstations, and from hospitals to clinics and homecare, an increase in the minimum features provided by the equipment and the communication systems must accompany the widening variety of clinical applications. Future expansion of telehealth systems stands to revolutionize the delivery of services to the benefits of providers' networks, our economy, and patients through integration.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 February 1996
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 2618, Health Care Information Infrastructure, (9 February 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.231656
Show Author Affiliations
Yadin B. David, Texas Childrens' Hospital (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2618:
Health Care Information Infrastructure
Luis G. Kun, Editor(s)

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