Drivers of telemedicine use: comparative evidence from samples of Spanish, Colombian and Bolivian physicians

Implement Sci. 2014 Oct 8:9:128. doi: 10.1186/s13012-014-0128-6.


Background: The aim of the study presented in this article is to analyse the determinants of telemedicine use. To that end, the study makes two basic contributions. First, it considers six working hypotheses in the context of technology acceptance models (TAMs). Second, it uses data obtained for three samples of physicians from three different countries (Spain, Colombia and Bolivia). Obtaining and comparing evidence on an international scale allows determinants of telemedicine use to be evaluated across different contexts.

Methods: In Bolivia, the survey was conducted in hospitals and health care centres of the urban and rural districts of the municipality of Sucre, in a population comprising a total of 350 physicians. In Spain, the survey population consisted of medical professionals of all profiles affiliated with health care within the Canary Islands Health Service, comprising a total of 356 physicians. Finally, in Colombia, it was conducted in the Society of Surgery Service at San José Hospital of Bogotá, in a population comprising a total of 184 physicians. Using an extended TAM and survey data from 510 physicians (113 in Spain, 118 in Colombia and 279 in Bolivia), binary logistic regression analysis was performed.

Results: In the three samples, it was found that the physician's level of information and communication technology (ICT) use in his/her personal life was the variable that had the highest explanatory power regarding telemedicine use. In the Spanish sample, the physicians' perceived ease-of-use of ICTs in clinical practice and propensity to innovate were the two other variables that determined telemedicine use, whereas in the Colombian and Bolivian samples, it was the level of optimism about ICTs.

Conclusion: The results facilitated a more complete model that includes personal, usability, and innovatory aspects in the explanation of Telemedicine use in Spain, whereas the results for the Latin American samples indicated a more primary model in the explanation of Telemedicine use, which was completed by an optimism factor that did not emerge in the Spanish sample.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Attitude to Computers
  • Bolivia
  • Colombia
  • Data Collection / methods
  • Diffusion of Innovation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sex Factors
  • Spain
  • Telemedicine / statistics & numerical data*