Delivery Mechanisms

  • Networked programs link tertiary care hospitals and clinics with outlying clinics and community health centers in rural or suburban areas. The links may use dedicated high-speed lines or the Internet for telecommunication links between sites. ATA estimates the number of existing telemedicine networks in the United States at roughly 200 providing connectivity to over 3,000 sites.

  • Point-to-point connections using private high speed networks are used by hospitals and clinics that deliver services directly or outsource specialty services to independent medical service providers. Such outsourced services include radiology, stroke assessment, mental health and intensive care services.

  • Monitoring center links are used for cardiac, pulmonary or fetal monitoring, home care and related services that provide care to patients in the home. Often normal land-line or wireless connections are used to communicate directly between the patient and the center although some systems use the Internet.

  • Web-based e-health patient service sites provide direct consumer outreach and services over the Internet. Under telemedicine, these include those sites that provide direct patient care.