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Telemed J E Health. 2000 Winter;6(4):449-52.

System of telemedicine services designed for family doctors' practices.

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  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Postgraduate Medical Education, Medical Academy of Wroclaw,


The main goal of the most European telemedicine programs is to increase access to emergency and primary care; however, telemedicine presents both profound opportunities and challenges to general practice/family medicine. The aim of this project is to develop and demonstrate a regional primary care teleconsulting system in Poland linking an academic family medicine center and 10 family doctors' practices (both urban and rural) within a range of 100-200 km, serving a local population of 25,000 individuals. It is designed to support real-time consultations among health care providers via a computer network, provide secure access to multimedia patient records, and facilitate an innovative home monitoring and remote care from doctors to their patients. The entire process (planned for 3 years) includes: selecting the best technology (i.e., teletransmission system, communication protocols, etc.) and equipment; preparing the assumptions and conditions for formats and transmission rates; analysis of the existing techniques of compression and preparing own specific solution; finding an optimal infrastructure (i.e., equipment and communication configuration); implementing the system; evaluation of the medical, economic, organizational, and sociological aspects of the system (i.e., accessibility to primary health care, cost feasibility and cost-effectiveness of telemedicine services, quality of care assessment, etc.). The project offers the potential to improve: access to high-quality primary health care; the patient-physician bond and the attending physician's level of confidence; education of family doctors; use of expensive resources; and a convenient mode of delivering medical services to the patient.

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