Telemedicine: Is it really worth it? A perspective from evidence and experience.

James Freed, Charles Lowe, Gerd Flodgren, Rachel Binks, Kevin Doughty, Jyrki Kolsi


Background: Although the formal evidence base is equivocal, practical experience suggests that implementations of technology that support telemedicine initiatives can result in improved patient outcomes, better patient and carer experience and reduced expenditure.

Objective: To answer the questions “Is an investment in telemedicine worth it?” and “How do I make a telemedicine implementation work?”

Methods: Summary of systematic review evidence and an illustrative case study. Discussion of implications for industry and policy.

Results: Realisation of telemedicine benefits is much less to do with the technology itself and much more around the context of the implementing organisation and its ability to implement.

Conclusion: We recommend that local organisations consider deployment of telemedicine initiatives but with a greater awareness of the growing body of implementation best practice. We also recommend, for the NHS, that the centre takes a greater role in the collation and dissemination of best practice to support successful implementations of telemedicine and other health informatics initiatives.


Telemedicine; evidence-based policy;

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