Telehealth: Legal and Ethical Considerations for Success

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Claude J. Pirtle
Kathryn Payne
Brian C. Drolet


The practice of medicine has advanced significantly from the bloodletting of the 18th century to a surgeon operating remotely through a robot from hundreds of miles away.1 Over the past decade, technology, and particularly telehealth, has become increasingly widespread in global health care delivery.2,3 Telehealth is a general term that describes the use of telecommunication technologies in support of clinical health care, education, and public health.4 Telehealth services include not only traditional video conferencing but also e-mail, remote patient monitoring devices, and even facsimile.5,6 Teleheath technology allows physicians and other providers to consult and assist with data interpretation and patient care regardless of geographic separation. For example, a specialty radiologist may read advanced imaging for a primary care physician in a remote area. 


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