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February 8, 1995

Telemedicine Technology and Clinical Applications

Author Affiliations

From the Biomedical Information Communication Center and the Department of Dermatology, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland (Dr Perednia); and the Cancer Center, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City (Dr Allen).

JAMA. 1995;273(6):483-488. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520300057037

TELEMEDICINE can be broadly defined as the use of telecommunications technologies to provide medical information and services. Although this definition includes medical uses of the telephone, facsimile, and distance education, telemedicine is increasingly being used as shorthand for remote electronic clinical consultation. Interest in the field has increased dramatically in the 1990s. State and federal allocations for telemedicine and related technologies are likely to exceed $100 million in fiscal 1994-1995.1 At least 13 federal agencies, including the US Department of Commerce, Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), Office of Rural Health Policy, and US Department of Defense, have begun telemedicine research and demonstration programs. Many states are using their own resources to build state-of-the-art telemedicine systems, some with capital investments exceeding $50 million. Faith in this technology is not universal, however. Depending on one's viewpoint, telemedicine may be seen as a valuable tool for providing badly needed specialty care services

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