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Rev Neurol. 2007 May 1-15;44(9):556-61.

[Telemedicine and dementia: a need for the 21st century].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

Unidad de Valoración de la Memoria y las Demencis, Institut d'Assistència Sanitària, Salt, Girona, España.



The ongoing process of information and communication technologies in health services implies a change in the conception, organization and management of these services. Telemedicine is a working method that allows health professionals to explore and/or treat a patient from an off-site location. In this review we provide a historical background on telemedicine, the evolution of its bibliometric impact, and its application for people with dementia.


Telemedicine's applications have been developed in order to provide greater availability and easier access to healthcare to underserved people. The bibliometric study of telemedicine literature shows an increase in the number of bibliographic references related to telemedicine since 1995. During the last few years in Spain the research and development of telemedicine programs have increased significantly and at present there are telemedicine programs in all regions of the country. Although some of the needs of the patients with dementia may be unsuitable for communication and information technologies, their application could offer an added value to health services. This technology does not attempt to replace face-to-face medical consultations but rather to prevent some difficulties this kind of patients can present and improve their quality of life.


Dementia could be an appropriate field in order to implement some telemedicine programs that may improve patient medical care, and reduce medical and management expenses for social and healthcare services.

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