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    Telemedicine: What is it?

    submitted by Jeffrey Krawitz, Esq. and Michael Ksiazek, Esq., Stark & Stark

    Telemedicine” refers to medical diagnosis and monitoring through technology. It encompasses video conferencing, electronic file sharing, remote monitoring, and mobile health apps. 

    All states now permit telemedicine, and a majority of hospitals now use telemedicine. An estimated one-third of employer group plans cover some type of virtual health. 

    One of the most common forms of telemedicine is virtual radiology, where radiologists review and interpret imaging remotely.

    You may be in a hospital in Pennsylvania, but your X-ray is being read by a doctor in Georgia. 

    There are many issues that can arise with telemedicine, including equipment malfunctions, miscommunication, or a lack of access to the same clinical information. Additionally, legal and regulatory issues can arise when doctors practice medicine across state lines. 

    Some issues in this regard may be addressed by legislative or regulatory bodies, and others may end up in the courts.

    It is important for patients to understand that telemedicine is here to stay and its frequency is only likely to increase.  The use of telemedicine will have wide-reaching implications for health care and health care law.