How can Telemedicine Benefit from Broadband Technologies?

How can Telemedicine Benefit from Broadband Technologies?

Vincenzo Gulla (Advanced Digital Technologies, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-030-1.ch006
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Abstract

The present chapter focuses on some aspects of the state of the art of telemedicine systems and their use over broadband. It starts with a brief summary of the most popular telecommunication technologies to give the reader an overview of today’s broadband technology and methods. Some important deployment data are included showing the global growth and use in many countries. Results of very significant pilot projects using videocommunication implemented in Italy and in Europe are taken into consideration, demonstrating the benefits of the patient’s psychological status in conjunction with health care assistance. The chapter proposition is to show a business model, based on an Italian reality exploiting the Marche region population development and healthcare statistics. The simulation example is the adaptation of telemedicine solution for early hospital discharge applied to a public healthcare structure, typically a hospital. The model takes into account the possible adaptation of an “early discharge solution” implemented with portable telemonitoring light videocommunication terminals, which, thanks to broadband availability, may be installed at the patient’s home for a predefined period (typically 7 to 10 days). The simulation aims to highlight and dimension cost reduction or, in a more appropriate view, give the percentage of resource that can be relocated to provide a better service and how a national healthcare service may take advantage of these scenarios.
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Methodology

The study starts with a brief introduction to the most popular telecommunication technologies, gives an overview of today’s broadband technology and last mile methods implemented by most of the telecommunication carriers, to reach end users with a suitable and useful bandwidth Gulla (2007). Broadband deployments data are included to give a measurement of how fast this technology is being used in all the world, providing the most recent available deployment data, thus proven the availability of broadband technology in many countries.

Results of very significant pilot projects carried out by carriers, service providers, universities and research centres in Italy and in Europe making use of videocommunication and vital parameters data gathering medical devices are taken into consideration, for showing that this technology not only allows the doctor to have a more complete view of the patient in understanding the patients psychological status to give more appropriate guidance and make more accurate analysis, but also to assure the patient that he is being visited by someone providing the necessary moral support Cleland (2006), Parati (2006), Klapan (2005).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Video communication: Form of telecommunication through which live image communication being performed.

Last mile: The method implemented by most of the telecommunication carriers, to reach end users with a suitable and useful bandwidth.

Video communication: Form of telecommunication through which live image communication being performed.

Early hospital discharge: It is applied to a public health care structure, typically a hospital.

Last mile: The method implemented by most of the telecommunication carriers, to reach end users with a suitable and useful bandwidth.

Early hospital discharge: It is applied to a public health care structure, typically a hospital.

IP broadband: The network configuration for delivery of IP home care services.

Social drivers: The driver related to understand the needs of business.

IP broadband: The network configuration for delivery of IP home care services.

Social drivers: The driver related to understand the needs of business.

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