These success stories spotlight the demonstrated improvements in both the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care worldwide made possible by telemedicine technology. Early successes have demonstrated the feasibility of telemedicine and suggest that it will continue to progress and achieve its anticipated potential.
"The value of telemedicine use for consultation in mental health, radiology, pathology, and dermatology is well founded", stated American Telemedicine Association President, Ronald K. Poropatich, MD, Colonel, U.S. Army, Telemedicine Directorate, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and Senior Clinical Advisor, Clinical Applications Division, Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center.
"As the field continues to grow and new clinical applications are further developed, patients will benefit from a more accessible and comprehensive health care system. This will result in expanded growth for telemedicine as a consumer-driven market dominates. The success stories in this issue of the Journal highlight new areas in the field of telemedicine that will ultimately promote this field to our patients and providers", continued Colonel Poropatich.
Journal highlights include a paper by Michael Ricci, MD, and colleagues at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, which demonstrates how telemedicine reduces discrepancies in rural trauma care. Eve-Lynn Nelson, Ph.D., and co-workers at Kansas University Medical Center provide persuasive evidence of the effectiveness of telemedicine in treating childhood depression. The still-young telemedicine programme at the State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Medicine has demonstrated steady and consistent progress in the areas of clinical services, education, and research, according to a report by David Ellis, MD, and James Mayrose, Ph.D.
The use of telemedicine to prevent a cholera epidemic in India, reported by Professor A. Ayyagari and co-workers at the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, has important implications for United States homeland security. Two young girls injured in serious accidents in the U.S. Pacific Islands were helped by telemedicine technology, as described by Donald Person, MD, and colleagues. Gary Goldfield, Ph.D., and Ahmed Boachie, MD, describe the successful use of telehealth to provide psychiatric services in rural areas, implementing family therapy to treat a female adolescent suffering from anorexia nervosa.
Telemedicine Journal and e-Health, edited by Rashid L. Bashshur, Ph.D., Director of Telemedicine at the University of Michigan Health System, is an international, peer-reviewed journal combining medicine, telecommunications, and information technology. Published quarterly in print and on-line, the Journal includes empirical research, descriptive case studies, policy analysis, and papers on technical design and communications protocols.