In Finland, a research project has been set up to analyse the actual benefits, telemedicine has to offer in comparison with conventional hospital services. First results show that telemedicine applications imply more costly investments but produce greater satisfaction in the minds of both patients and medical staff, according to the most recent edition of Tekniikka & Talous.
Finland might be considered as one of the enthusiastic pioneers in telemedicine. However, in spite of its vast experience, it is very difficult to determine the real financial asset, telemedicine implementation has yielded within the Finnish health care constellation. It appears no direct indication of profitability can be demonstrated.
Head of the research group is Arto Ohinmaa. He states that the general customer satisfaction of patients has increased substantially, whereas the care providers experience a lot more inner contentment with regard to their task. As for the economical aspects, there might be found a possible source for cost savings in faster diagnosis and more efficient use of health care time.
The researchers are surprised about the rapid implementation of telemedicine in their country. The Finnish hospitals easily have adopted the innovative technologies but on the other hand, have shown insufficient feel for critical discrimination in accepting all kinds of telemedical applications without preliminary and profound analysis of the real needs in the health care community.