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Clinical Challenges
March 2001

The Regular Practice of Telemedicine: Telemedicine in Otolaryngology

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2001 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2001

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2001;127(3):333-336. doi:10.1001/archotol.127.3.333

Telemedicine has the potential to change radically the way otolaryngology–head and neck surgery is practiced.

The American Telemedicine Association, Washington, DC, defines telemedicine as the exchange of medical information on the health and education of patients and/or health care providers via electronic means for the purpose of improving patient care. Historically, telemedicine became possible with Alexander Graham Bell's invention of the telephone. Even today, the telephone is still the medium of choice for practicing telemedicine. However, with the development of newer technologies since the 1960s, interest in telemedicine has increased. Two recent technological changes have led to an increase in interest in telemedicine. First is the simultaneous increase in availability and decrease in cost of broadband communication. The second factor is the development of digital devices capable of capturing and transmitting images.