Recent advances in information communication technology allow contact with patients at home through e-Health services (telemedicine, in particular). We provide insights on the state of the art of e-Health and telemedicine for possible wider future clinical use. Telemedicine opportunities are summarized as i) home telenursing, ii) electronic transfer to specialists and hospitals, iii) teleconsulting between general practitioners and specialists and iv) call centres activities and online health. At present, a priority action of the EU is the Initiative on TM for chronic disease management as home health monitoring and the future Vision for Europe 2020 is based on development of Integrated Telemedicine Services. There are pros and cons in e-Health and telemedicine. Benefits can be classified as benefits for i) citizens, patients and caregivers and ii) health care provider organizations. Institutions and individuals that play key roles in the future of e-Health are doctors, patients and hospitals, while the whole system should be improved at three crucial levels: 1) organizational, 2) regulatory and 3) technological. Quality, access and efficiency are the general key issues for the success of e-Health and telemedicine implementation. The real technology is the human resource available into the organizations. For e-Health and telemedicine to grow, it will be necessary to investigate their long-term efficacy, cost effectiveness, possible improvement in quality of life and impact on public health burden.
- Health care system
- Information communication technology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine