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Telemedicine, or Tele-health as it is now called, is broadly defined as the use of telecommunication technology to provide health care services at distance from the caregiver. Telemedicine was initially designed with radiology and psychiatry services in mind in the 1960s.
(Loane et. all 2001) Telemedicine consultations typically involve consulting provider at one site, and the patient at another. For many consultations, the patient is accompanied by health professional, often nurse or mid-level provider, who presents the patient to the consultant. Stethoscopes, otoscopes, hand-held cameras, and other medical peripheral devices enhance the ability of the consulting provider to examine patients and recommend treatment during Tele-consultations. Document cameras and features such as remote camera control and white boarding make it possible for health professionals, educators, researchers, and administrators to easily share documents and other images between sites. Typically, videoconferencing has been delivered via telecommunication lines utilizing bandwidth of 384 kilobits per second (kbps), equivalent to 1/4 T1 line or 3 ISDN lines. Although less than broadcast quality, image quality is nonetheless considered adequate for the majority of face-to-face encounters. In general, the higher the bandwidth used, the clearer the picture. With less bandwidth, picture quality deteriorates and the system responds more slowly to the participants' movements, resulting in jerkier, fuzzier image. Still images, however, can be captured and transmitted clearly at low bandwidth. ...
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