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Paper Information

Journal:   WORLD JOURNAL OF PLASTIC SURGERY   JANUARY 2013 , Volume 2 , Number 1; Page(s) 18 To 25.
 
Paper: 

TELEMEDICINE IN IRAN: CHANCES AND CHALLENGES

 
 
Author(s):  SALEHAHMADI ZEINAB, HAJILIASGARI FATEMEH*
 
* DEPUTY OF HEALTH, TEHRAN UNIVERSITY OF MEDICAL SCIENCE, TEHRAN, IRAN
 
Abstract: 

BACKGROUND: Technology is likely to transform the way care is delivered at home and in the community. Telemedicine, the child of IT and Medicine sciences is the use of telecommunication equipment and information technology to provide clinical care to individuals at distant sites and the transmission of medical and surgical information and images needed to provide that care. Undoubtedly, the advantages out weight its disadvantages, but just like any other innovations, it has some drawbacks. The present study outlines telemedicine strong and weak points. In this regard a survey has been done in Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran.
METHODS: Between 14th May and 14th August 2012, 90 medical specialist men and 42 women from different hospitals of Tehran Medical Sciences University, Iran were enrolled by a simple random sampling method. They all completed a questionnaire to consider what are telemedicine chances and challenges.
RESULTS: Making use of telemedicine was a profitable alternative in remote, rural/urban places especially in new project of "family physician" presented by Iran Ministry of Health. The results also highlighted that security considerations was an inevitable challenge of telemedicine, while shorter hospital stays and reduced warm ischemic time, and reduced morbidity and mortality rates were telemedicine merits. Despite most previous studies results, telemedicine has been recognised as a cost-effective alternative.
Cultural, language distinctions as well as the level of literacy were barriers on deploying telemedicine. There was no strong evidence showing that using telemedicine caused a decrease in tactile feedback.
CONCLUSION: We need to fully understand and consider various outcomes and challenges of telemedicine before applying it.

 
Keyword(s): TELEMEDICINE, ADVANTAGES, DRAWBACKS, IRAN
 
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