Telemedicine: Implementation, Communications, and Implications for TC


Jessica Lynn Campbell
Sales/Marketing Operations Manager, Geo-Med, LLC


April 4, 2018 - 2:00 PM


April 4, 2018 - 3:00 PM

Telemedicine: Implementation, Communications, and Implications for TC

Telemedicine, also known as telehealth, is a fairly new, modern medical system within the e-health field, whereby the delivery of medical consultation, diagnosis, and treatment is provided via telecommunication (computational technology). Telemedicine has the potential to offer significant affordances to all individuals on a global level, including providing advanced medical treatment to individuals with physical limitations or remote geographical locations; modern health and medical education to minority populations who would not otherwise receive it; as well as more convenient and less expensive routine, non-emergency medical consultations to the general consumer population.

Despite the benefits of telemedicine, there are several barriers to implementation: ethical considerations, universal standards and procedures, limited communications, and lack of patient and consumer uptake or acceptance. Given that many of the processes involved in telemedicine delivery are facilitated through communication (physician to physician, physician to patient, patient to physician, physician to technology, etc.), in many different mediums, technical communicators are uniquely positioned to embed themselves in this nascent health and medical field in order to optimize telemedicine processes and create and deliver more effective health and medical communications.

The universal goal of technical communication is to create and deliver comprehensible, usable information in an easily accessible medium. Medical literacy is key to consumers’ knowledge of alternative medical interventions, patients’ understanding and ability to execute treatment, as well as overall individual quality of life, and user experience is critical in the design, development, and delivery of health and medical communications. Technical communicators’ combined understanding of usability, context, and audience, in addition to the ability to personalize, localize, and create effective content, enables technical communicators to serve in many different roles within the e-health field. This presentation will discuss key research on the implementation of different telemedicine systems, challenges in the field, and technical communicators’ areas of impact in telemedicine communications. Specific scholarly studies will be used as evidence and examples in the presentation.

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The Society for Technical Communication advances technical communication as the discipline of transforming complex information into usable content for products, processes, and services.