Telehealth policy: looking for global complementarity

J Telemed Telecare. 2002:8 Suppl 3:S3:55-7.


Telehealth is gaining acceptance as a tool for bridging the local and global health-care divides. However, integrating telehealth into existing health infrastructures presents a daunting challenge for governments, policy makers, telehealth advocates and health-care workers. The development of specific inter-jurisdictional telehealth policies will significantly improve the ability to meet this challenge. In the policy context, one 'success' is the increasing number of jurisdictions addressing policy issues. However, policy decisions have largely been taken in isolation, within individual health institutions, regions, provinces/states or countries. This represents a failure of the current approach. Telehealth, by its very nature, has the ability to transgress existing geo-political boundaries. As a consequence, policy in any single jurisdiction may hamper or even cripple the ability of telehealth to fulfil its potential. Commonality--or at least complementarity--of approach to telehealth policy must be encouraged. To achieve this, it is essential to understand the current or anticipated regulatory constraints that may affect telehealth. We have begun a preliminary study of country-specific policy issues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Global Health
  • Health Planning
  • Health Policy*
  • Humans
  • Telemedicine / organization & administration*