Perspectives on Consumer Telehealth

S.C. Simmons, P.J. Kragel, and G.L. Jones (USA)


Other Aspects of Telehealth, Consumer Telehealth, Demand for Telehealth, Organizational Aspects


The practice of medicine is evolving from a process where the patient is the passive recipient of a health care provider’s interventions and manipulations, to a process in which the patient is intimately involved with both the choice of medical intervention and maintaining his or her own health. It is in this context that telehealth applications will undergo rapid and extensive dissemination into the community of health consumers. In consumer telehealth as opposed to traditional telehealth programs, the consumer/patient may pay more out-of-pocket expenses for service, equipment, software, and/or telecommunications. Telehealth transactions/encounters will occur at the location and time that is most convenient for the consumer/patient and consumer telehealth transactions will be conducted in a more ad hoc manner. This new emphasis and demand will spawn new business models, and improve health care efficiency, convenience, and customer service.

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