Telemedicine: An Application in Search of Users
Bijoy K. Khandheria, M.D.
Telemedicine involves the use of telecommunication technologies as a medium for the providion of medical information and services to consumers at sites that are at a distance from the provider. The concept encompasses everything from the telephone system to high-speed, wide-bandwidth transmission with use of fiberoptics, satellites, or a combination of terrestrial and satellite-communication technologies. The peripheral software could be as simple as a typewriter used to type a letter requesting an opinion or as complex as high-capacity parallel processing computers and imaging devices.
Although the definition includes telephone, facsimile, and distance learning, the term telemedicine is currently used as a generic laber for remote consultation and diagnosis. Telemedicine is not a meducal subspecialty but a facilitator of all medical and surgical specialties.
Assistant Professor at Mayo Clinic
"Speech pathology - let me exemplify on that. Patients who have speech disorders, patients who have cancer of their voice box and who have artificial voice box put in place, traditionally they have to come from their locations to a major medical center such as Mayo clinic because speech pathologists are very few and they are concentrated at major medical centers However we feel that using ACTS or ACTS-like technology, one can make that diagnosis remotely and one can also train these patients on how to use their voice box."
NASA's Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS)