An evolutionary examination of telemedicine: a health and computer-mediated communication perspective

Soc Work Public Health. 2010 Jan;25(1):59-71. doi: 10.1080/19371910902911206.


Telemedicine, the use of advanced communication technologies in the healthcare context, has a rich history and a clear evolutionary course. In this paper, the authors identify telemedicine as operationally defined, the services and technologies it comprises, the direction telemedicine has taken, along with its increased acceptance in the healthcare communities. The authors also describe some of the key pitfalls warred with by researchers and activists to advance telemedicine to its full potential and lead to an unobstructed team of technicians to identify telemedicine's diverse utilities. A discussion and future directions section is included to provide fresh ideas to health communication and computer-mediated scholars wishing to delve into this area and make a difference to enhance public understanding of this field.

Keywords: Internet; communication; e-health; healthcare; technology; telemedicine.

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Humans
  • Telemedicine / trends*