The future of remote health services: summary of an expert panel discussion

Telemed J E Health. 2007 Jun;13(3):341-7. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2006.0078.


Health Technology Center (HealthTech), a nonprofit research and education organization that develops objective technology forecasts, hosted an expert panel discussion aimed at delineating the future of remote health services (RHS). RHS is defined as involving patient care interactions that are geographically disparate and enabled by telecommunications, information technology, and sensor technology. Key players involved are physicians and nonphysician clinicians, sick or healthy individuals, and their friends or family. An expert panel gathered October 2006, in San Francisco, CA, to respond to the forecasts generated by HealthTech regarding the expected impact of RHS on health care in the next 2 to 5 years and beyond. The panel consisted of a carefully selected group of experts representing diverse viewpoints, and included clinicians, providers, engineers, lawyers, consumer representatives, policy makers, developers, representatives of large employers, academics, and workforce experts. The interaction of the interdisciplinary expert panel produced a number of key implications pertaining to the delivery of RHS and its influence on the healthcare industry. Drivers and barriers to the diffusion of RHS were delineated, and the full potential value of the technology to patients, health delivery systems, and health plans was analyzed in depth. The expert panel provided a plethora of information predicting the future course of RHS and its impact on health delivery. While the complete report and set of forecasts that stems from this research are proprietary, this paper offers a summary of that meeting.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Health Planning Guidelines*
  • Humans
  • Information Systems / trends*
  • Remote Consultation / trends*
  • San Francisco
  • United States