Telemedicine adoption “disappointing” so far

The article focuses mainly on the barriers preventing telemedicine to succeed in both rural and urban areas.  Since telemedicine has existed in the healthcare landscape for over a decade now, its adoption efforts in most areas are considered “modest, if not disappointing,” but some believe that as broadband initiatives have become more pervasive on a global level in the past few year, telemedicine has potential to be revived and revolutionized.

Telemedicine now includes doctor to patient phone calls, teleconsultations, videoconferencing, and real-time remote patient monitoring using mobile devices.  These ICT labors have the potential to maximize efficiency in the health care industry, but there are few blockades that come along with its adaptation efforts.

Reasons for low adoption of telemedicine:

  1. Lack of support by governments and insurance companies to reimburse patients for the cost of telemedicine services and devices
  2. Lack in access, awareness and legal understanding
  3. Lack of examples of telemedicine succeeding on a wider scale beyond pilot programs
  4. Standards, regulations to create ubiquity
  5. Needs public-private joint support

Overall, the telemedicine system seems to be supported but not enough for it to be adopted on full scale.  ICT systems like this will not be affective unless they are fully implemented, utilized and sustained with great collaboration between the public and private sectors.

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One response to “Telemedicine adoption “disappointing” so far

  • laurenholtzman

    I think that it is very clear that one of the greatest challenges to telemedicine is the high cost. Governments may be hesitant to reimburse individual patients because they have enough funding issues to begin with. Rather than continue to rely on other countries for support and supporting other countries by outsourcing more business (since healthcare has become a business), perhaps these governments feel their money would be better spent on in-country initiatives to address health problems. These countries can spend the money on initial tele-education projects or other forms of educating people in their countries to be able to carry out diagnoses and procedures. This would further improve their economies by keeping the budget local and spending locally. While there is the issue of the “brain drain” occurring as the educated leave, there are many approaches countries have taken to address such. In the end, telemedicine is increasing developing nations’ dependency on the rest of the world, and preventing the countries of any chance of self-sustainability.

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