How can Telemedicine Benefit from Broadband Technologies?

How can Telemedicine Benefit from Broadband Technologies?

Vincenzo Gulla (Advanced Digital Technologies, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-986-1.ch121
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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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