Comparative performance of seven long-running telemedicine networks delivering humanitarian services

Wootton, Richard, Geissbuhler, Antoine, Jethwani, Kamal, Kovarik, Carrie, Person, Donald A., Vladzymyrskyy, Anton, Zanabonia, Paolo and Zolfog, Maria (2012) Comparative performance of seven long-running telemedicine networks delivering humanitarian services. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 18 6: 305-311. doi:10.1258/jtt.2012.120315

Author Wootton, Richard
Geissbuhler, Antoine
Jethwani, Kamal
Kovarik, Carrie
Person, Donald A.
Vladzymyrskyy, Anton
Zanabonia, Paolo
Zolfog, Maria
Title Comparative performance of seven long-running telemedicine networks delivering humanitarian services
Journal name Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1357-633X
Publication date 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1258/jtt.2012.120315
Open Access Status
Volume 18
Issue 6
Start page 305
End page 311
Total pages 7
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Language eng
Abstract Seven long-running telemedicine networks were surveyed. The networks provided humanitarian services (clinical and educational) in developing countries, and had been in operation for periods of 5–15 years. The number of experts serving each network ranged from 15 to 513. The smallest network had a total of 10 requesters and the largest one had more than 500 requesters. The networks operated in nearly 60 countries. The seven networks managed a total of 1857 cases in 2011, i.e. an average of 265 cases per year per network. There was a significant growth in total activity, amounting to 100.3 cases per year during the 15 year study period. In 2011, network activity was 50–700 teleconsultations per network. There were clear differences in the patterns of activity, with some networks managing an increasing caseload, and others managing a slowly reducing caseload. The seven networks had published a total of 44 papers listed in Medline which summarized the evidence resulting from the delivery of services by telemedicine. There was a dearth of information about clinical and cost-effectiveness. Nevertheless, the services were widely appreciated by referring doctors, considered to be clinically useful, and there were indications that clinical outcomes for telemedicine patients were often improved. Despite a lack of formal evidence, the present study suggests that telemedicine can provide clinically useful services in developing countries.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Centre for Online Health Publications
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