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Comparative performance of seven long-running telemedicine networks delivering humanitarian services

Wootton, Richard
Jethwani, Kamal
Kovarik, Carrie
Person, Donald A
Vladzymyrskyy, Anton
Zanaboni, Paolo
Zolfo, Maria
Published in Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare. 2012, vol. 18, no. 6, p. 305-11
Abstract Seven long-running telemedicine networks were surveyed. The networks provided humanitarian services (clinical and educational) in developing countries, and had been in operation for periods of 5-15 years. The number of experts serving each network ranged from 15 to 513. The smallest network had a total of 10 requesters and the largest one had more than 500 requesters. The networks operated in nearly 60 countries. The seven networks managed a total of 1857 cases in 2011, i.e. an average of 265 cases per year per network. There was a significant growth in total activity, amounting to 100.3 cases per year during the 15 year study period. In 2011, network activity was 50-700 teleconsultations per network. There were clear differences in the patterns of activity, with some networks managing an increasing caseload, and others managing a slowly reducing caseload. The seven networks had published a total of 44 papers listed in Medline which summarized the evidence resulting from the delivery of services by telemedicine. There was a dearth of information about clinical and cost-effectiveness. Nevertheless, the services were widely appreciated by referring doctors, considered to be clinically useful, and there were indications that clinical outcomes for telemedicine patients were often improved. Despite a lack of formal evidence, the present study suggests that telemedicine can provide clinically useful services in developing countries.
Keywords AltruismDeveloping Countries/statistics & numerical dataHealth Services ResearchHumansModels, OrganizationalQuestionnairesTelemedicine/organization & administration/standards/utilization
PMID: 22869822
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Research group Groupe Geissbuhler Antoine (informatique médicale) (222)
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WOOTTON, Richard et al. Comparative performance of seven long-running telemedicine networks delivering humanitarian services. In: Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 2012, vol. 18, n° 6, p. 305-11. doi: 10.1258/jtt.2012.120315 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:32305

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Deposited on : 2013-12-17

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