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In Health Care Today, It's Electronic All the Way
Date:10/3/2009

chwamm said. For example, can a doctor licensed and credentialed in one state "see" patients from another state via an Internet video link?

Mitchell believes telemedicine ultimately will strengthen people's relationships with their doctors, allowing them to share health information more easily. However, people first need to have a relationship with a doctor they trust.

"This is an adjunct to a relationship with a physician that's already there," Mitchell said. "I don't think the electronic interactions are going to completely replace the personal interaction, but they can augment them. You don't have to be standing in front of a physician to accomplish certain things, but that hands-on interaction needs to be there in many cases."

Don't write off doctor visits just yet, though.

"It's important to never underestimate the healing power of human touch," Schwamm said.

More information

The Telemedicine Information Exchange as more on issues related to telemedicine.



SOURCES: Jason Mitchell, M.D., assistant director, Center for Health Information Technology, American Academy of Family Physicians, Leawood, Kan.; Lee H. Schwamm, vice chairman, Department of Neurology, and director, TeleStroke & Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, and associate professor of neurology, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Nov. 20, 2008, Stroke


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