Telemedicine is the transmission of medical information using telecommunications technology for the purpose of improving a patient's health status, explains the American Telemedicine Association. Telemedicine enables health care professionals to remotely evaluate, diagnose and treat patients. It is particularly useful in isolated or rural areas.
Telemedicine is not a separate medical speciality, according to the American Telemedicine Association. Health care institutions integrate telemedicine with other services, and medical coding and reimbursement fees usually make no distinction between services provided on-site or via telemedicine. Health care professionals employ telemedicine methods such as patient consultations using video conferencing, remote vital signs monitoring and online patient portals.