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Telemedicine

  • By: Pamela Whitten
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Telemedicine is the use of communication technologies to deliver health-related services over a distance. Many health care practitioners prefer the term telehealth as a more comprehensive means to express the clinical, health education, and data management applications of these technologies. Telemedicine is not a new concept and can be traced back to the 1950s, when a psychiatrist provided mental health services to inmates by connecting to a prison 150 miles away using closed-circuit television. A handful of telemedicine projects through the 1960s and 1970s gained attention but not traction, as they fizzled out in the 1980s. However, a series of significant health care challenges led to the reemergence of telemedicine in the final decade of the 20th century.

The resurgence and continued growth of telemedicine in ...

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