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Telemedicine: Advantages and Disadvantages

written by: MandaSpring • edited by: Anurag Ghosh • updated: 2/1/2011

What are the advantages and disadvantages of telemedicine? This article explains everything about telemedicine and its benefits and disadvantages,

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    Telemedicine: Advantages and Disadvantages

    Telemedicine is a wonderful new tool that is proving to be a resource. It has the potential to help millions of people all over the world regardless what their medical conditions are. For more information on the actual practice of telemedicine you can read another comprehensive article entitled "Telemedicine Defined"

    Right now we will delve deeper into telemedicine advantages and disadvantages. Some would argue that there doesn't appear to be any disadvantages what so ever, but then there are many who disagree. Today we’ll assess all concerns from both sides of the fence to determine all aspects.

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    Telemedicine Advantages

    Obviously this widely-used practice can be very rewarding especially when you consider sharing valuable medical information with doctors in other countries around the world and in all areas of the profession. We don’t know everything about the medical problems out there today and with all of the new diseases and health issues emerging this is a way to learn faster in an effort to save lives and minimize risk or discomfort to the patient any longer than absolutely necessary.

    One of the telemedicine advantages is that it can be of use for military personnel. They are often times located in areas of the world that telemedicine is the only way to diagnose and treat them. The fact is that telemedicine can go anywhere as it is both versatile and effective.

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    The Disadvantages of Telemedicine

    Okay, so what are the disadvantages of telemedicine? Well some experts complain that there are actually quite a few. First of all, one problem is that many fear that it will take away from personal one on one time. Conferences and video can’t replace valuable time between doctor and patient or more personal discussion that doctors and physicians might otherwise have with each other.

    Legal complications are raising another red flag. Laws and a set code of rules and ethics will first need to be applied before telemedicine can be used regularly in various capacities. This alone might take some time.

    Services and how professionals get paid for them will all need to be resolved as telemedicine becomes a more fluent practice. This can prove to be a difficult determination.

    Then we have clinical risk and over dependence on this telemedicine system. Due to the risks involved with what is reliable vs. unreliable information and over dependence or over use of telemedicine can easily get out of control until more uniformed strategies and procedures are put into play.

    As you can see telemedicine is not yet all worked out where it can be utilized constantly or flexibly. But, it has enormous potential to be a tremendous asset to the world and all its civilizations. There is no arguing that the contributions it can make have endless possibilities however more time and effort will be needed to organize telemedicine for it to be confidently accepted.