Telemedicine: emerging e-medicine

Annu Rev Biomed Eng. 1999:1:589-610. doi: 10.1146/annurev.bioeng.1.1.589.


This paper reviews the emergence of telemedicine and its recent expansion and use within the healthcare industry. Through this review, several examples of telemedicine within a variety of applications provide a broad context to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the emergence of e-medicine. These examples provide snapshots of a teleradiology system used by the military, teleconsultations used in neurosurgery and hemodialysis, and home telemedicine used in diabetes care. Based on the discussion of telemedicine's history and expansion and the examples provided, a framework is offered for understanding the evolution of telemedicine applications through four stages. These stages include: (a) development of basic technological capabilities, (b) development of relevant applications, (c) the integration of technical applications within a complex environment, and (d) transformation of the operating environment. Implications for this framework are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy
  • Humans
  • Neurosurgery
  • Remote Consultation / trends
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Telemedicine* / trends
  • Teleradiology / trends


  • Blood Glucose