Journal Article

Telemedicine: The Future of Outpatient Therapy?

Lawrence Eron

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 51, issue Supplement_2, pages S224-S230
Published in print September 2010 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online September 2010 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/653524
Telemedicine: The Future of Outpatient Therapy?

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Early hospital discharge of acutely infected patients to received outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy has been shown to be safe and effective. However, concerns over safety, potential litigation, and anxieties of the patient and family about not receiving professional care have limited the use of this approach. Telemedicine may overcome these barriers by allowing health care providers to monitor and communicate with acutely infected patients from a remote medical center via a home computer station transmitting audio, video, and vital signs data. Potential benefits of telemedicine include significant cost savings and faster convalescence, because patients at home may feel more comfortable and actively involved in their treatment than patients in the hospital. Clinical studies have shown that telemedicine is safe and cost-effective, compared with hospital treatment, in chronically ill and acutely infected patients. More studies are needed to further establish the widespread and increasing practice of telemedicine, which may represent the future of medicine.

Journal Article.  4260 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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