ARMENIAN ASSOCIATION OF TELEMEDICINE
 
 
 
 

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The extraordinary developments in computing, communications and medical technologies, are making a reality what we have not even dreamt of. Telemedicine & eHealth are revolutionizing the world of health care. If you are, or wish to be involved in this exciting field, the “Future of Medicine”, then this site is for you. Learn how to become AATM member

 
 
 
 
 

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Discussion Forums & Consulting Services

This section contains links to a variety of interactive activities, such as On-line Discussion Groups for health care professionals or general public, and On-line Consultation Services for the patients. If you wish to participate in our on-line discussions, ask physician a question, or apply for a consult, you will need to log in, or register with this web-site.

 
 
 
 
Telemedicine & eHealth

TM & eH at a glance
. Introduction
. What is TM & eH
. Definitions
. Examples
. Brief History
. Facts & Figures
. Types of Services
. Tools & Equipment
. Benefits
. Difficulties
. Future


Telemedicine & eHealth in Armenia

References & Further Readings

Related Resources

Difficulties of Telemedicine & eHealth

In spite of the potential that eHealth/Telemedicine has given the world to improve the quality of health care, a number of barriers, at various levels, would need to be overcome for health systems to take full advantage of these opportunities. These barriers are not uni-dimensional, focusing on technical knowledge as previously thought, but rather a multi-dimensional construct, encompassing technical knowledge, economic viability, organizational support and behaviour modification [13, 17, 35, 48, 50, 55, 61, 63, 68, 69, 70, 73, 75, etc].

The major difficulties that should be properly explored and addressed to enable further progress of Telemedicine and eHealth can be summarized as follows:

  • Absence of direct face-to-face contact between patient and physician nonetheless hampering a given variety of medical diagnostic and therapeutic activities;
  • A need for complex measures to increase public awareness and to ensure positive attitude of administrative authorities, health professionals, patients and citizens towards “medicine at distance”;
  • Need for specialized staff training;
  • Need for substantial initial investments to install and deploy Telemedicine and eHealth;
  • Medical licensing and liability issues;
  • Standardization and interoperability issues;
  • Protecting health information privacy;
  • Financial management and reimbursement issues.

Despite the availability and proven benefits, TM & eH systems and services are not yet widely used in real-life medical or health situations. In many places, development is still at a pilot phase, often financed through research grants. The speed of organizational change is often slow, and it can take considerable time to achieve full implementation. A broad range of challenges remain to wider implementation.

  • Commitment and leadership of health authorities, in particular related to financial and organization issues, are essential elements for the successful deployment of TM & eH. For TM & eH to improve the way healthcare is provided, they must be combined with organizational changes and the development of new skills in users. TM & eH were often traditionally perceived by health authorities as a low spending priority. However, it is now seen as a matter of substantial importance within public health policies.
  • Interoperability of eHealth systems. Interoperability should enable the seamless integration of heterogeneous systems. This will allow secure and fast access to comparable public health data and to patient information located in different places over a wide variety of wired and wireless devices. However, this depends on standardization of system components and services such as health information systems, health messages, electronic health record architecture, and patient identifying services.
  • User friendliness of eHealth systems and services. A top priority for health providers in using TM & eH systems is speed in getting the desired, high-quality results. There is an absolute need for fast connection, connectivity, and high speed. This highlights the importance of ensuring broadband connection for online health services and infrastructure for regional health information networks.
  • Lack of regulation and fragmentation of TM & eH market. Most TM & eH solutions have either been designed by small- and medium-sized businesses or are developed internally by specific health organizations. The lack of standards and accreditation of products, together with different national regulations, have pushed up the cost of development and customization. This has held the eHealth industry back from more substantial investment in eHealth solutions.
  • Confidentiality and security issues. The requirement for confidentiality makes health information systems security critical. Another important legal issue is liability in the event of problems – such as technical malfunctions of the system, network, or provision of the service itself – that result in serious harm to a patient. Building trust is a prerequisite to the development of an information society, in eHealth probably more than anywhere else. Citizens prefer services and information tailored to their needs and requirements, while knowing that their right to privacy is protected.
  • Issues relating to the mobility of patients, including the cross border circulation of goods and services, among which eHealth services are of growing importance.
  • Needs and interests of users. The take-up of TM & eH systems and services would take place more rapidly were the needs and interests of the user communities (health professionals, patients, and citizens) to be taken on board. In general, these should be better integrated into the development and promotion of TM & eH.
  • Access for all to TM & eH. The equal access of all groups of society to health services is an important goal in the public health policy field. There is a risk that certain parts of society - such as isolated communities, individuals with literacy and numeracy challenges, groups of immigrants, homeless, elderly and disabled persons – could remain excluded from the possibilities offered by TM & eH (including Internet-based health services) if special efforts are not made to counterbalance such trends. On the other hand, TM & eH can offer considerable possibilities for the provision of health services to such individuals, groups, and communities.

Developments in the field of TM & eH should be directed by health needs and not driven by technology. Telemedicine & eHealth have to be supported by various categories of stakeholders from the health sector as well as from industry. The situation in Europe is illustrative. There, health telematics activities are driven by a broad spectrum of individual and institutional actors – hospitals (34%), telephone utilities (14%), academic institutions (12%), clinicians (12%), governments (7%) and social services (4%) [48].

Common understanding and concerted efforts by all stakeholders are needed for development and wide deployment of TM & eH applications and services. Each of the stakeholders (health authorities, professionals, consumers, and industry) has the power to veto implementation, if it is not perceived as beneficial. Only through concerted efforts by all stakeholders, can successful implementation be ensured, where all partners benefit.

ATA

AATM is Official Partner of ATA.

ISfTeH

AATM is National Member of ISfTeH.

 

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 AATM is a national member of European Federation for Medical Informatics.
 
MoH
 
TEMPUS
 
UITE
 
MedWeb
 
AMD Telemedicine
 
Med-e-Tel International    Forum on Telemedicine, eHealth and Health ICT
 
European Health Telematics  Association (EHTEL)
 

Swinfen Telemedicine

Telemedicine.com


AATM Armenian Association of
Telemedicine (AATM)
Tel.:
+374 91 42 19 28
Tel. mob.:
+ 374 93 911 110
Fax:
+ 374 10 58 40 87

E-mail:
info@armtelemed.org

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