Information Technology: Telemedicine Solutions Offered to Remote Research Proposal

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Information Technology: Telemedicine Solutions Offered to Remote Places in the Country of Greece

The term 'telemedicine' derives from the Greek 'tele' meaning 'at a distance' and the present word 'medicine' which itself derives from the Latin 'mederi' meaning 'healing'." (Mavengere, nd) The American Telemedicine Association defines Telemedicine as "...the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve patients' health status. Closely associated with telemedicine is the term "telehealth," which is often used to encompass a broader definition of remote healthcare that does not always involve clinical services. Videoconferencing, transmission of still images, e-health including patient portals, remote monitoring of vital signs, continuing medical education and nursing call centers are all considered part of telemedicine and telehealth." (in Kodandaram, 2009) Roth, Carthy, and Bendek (1996) state that telemedicine can be defined " the use of telecommunication in an organized system to provide medical information and health care. While telemedicine systems, which are typically characterized by their particular application, have been in existence since the early 1960s, their evolution from being a research tool to being a practical tool for everyday use by physicians and other medical service personnel has only recently begun."

Objective & Aims of the Study

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The objective of the present study is to examine 'Telemedicine' both in terms of its ideology and the benefits identified as arising from increased use of telemedicine by today's healthcare professionals and organizations.

Significance of the Study

The significance of the study reported herein is the additional knowledge that will be added to the already existing knowledge base in this area of study.

Background of the Study

Research Proposal on Information Technology: Telemedicine Solutions Offered to Remote Assignment

In the work entitled "History of Telemedicine it is states that Radio News magazine, in April 1824 featured a drawing "of a physicians viewing his patient over the radio which include a TV screen; TV was not invented until 1929. First cross state demonstration of telemedicine probably occurred in 1951 New York World's Fair. In 1957 Albert Jutras started doing teleradiology in Montreal and in 1959 Cecil Wittson started at the Nebraska Psychiatric Institute a tele-education and telepsychiatry program." (Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1997) It is written in this work that the first quotations of the use of Telematic services in the ancient world are those in the work of Homer and specifically Odysseia where the "use of frictories was described i.e. fires whose controlled smoke was used to transfer information about the progress of the Trojan War. The system was extended from Troia in Asia Minor and along the Greek coast line to Argos and Mycene." ((Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1997)

It is related that Professor Skevos Zervos (1975-1958) of the School of Medicine of the University of Athens, in more recent times "has developed a system allowing him to examine a patient from distance. The examination was concerning auscultation and cardiac pulses. The data could be transmitted in any place around the globe. The virtues of the system were demonstrated in several experiments conducted in plenary sessions of the Athens Medical Society at the National University of Athens, at the National Technical University of Athens and at the Athens Academy during which the signals were transmitted from several Athens hospitals and various Greek cities." (Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1997) This innovation has received publication in the Annals of the Athens Medical Society (1946-1956).It has been proposed by Professor Zervos that the system be used "...on board of the Greek ships that were offering regular service between Piraeus and New York. The communication host could not be afforded at that time and the system was not used." (Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1997)

It is reported that cardiologist George Papakonstantimou in 1976 with the National Technical University of Athens providing technical support 'developed a system allowing the transfer of EKG using dial up PSTN lines. The system is in use even today." (Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1997) The Medical Physics Laboratory of the University of Athens began a new era in their provision of Telemedicine Services in 1987 through a convincing demonstration of the advantage that the capture of transmission of X-ray pictures of high resolution to a hospital provides to the primary healthcare units. It is related that the EKG traces "are transmitted via the dial-up PSTN network in 3-30 seconds to the Cardiology Clinics of the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre for evaluation and support. Onassis CSC has also developed a medical protocol allowing the administration by the remote physicians a thrombolytic factor APSAC to patients suffering from acute myocardial infarction. The TALOS network is not expanding very rapidly but the Cardiology Clinic of the Tzmeron General Hospital in Yhaeus is ready to act as a support centre for the Aegean Islands. A similar network is going to be introduced in the immediate future in all primary healthcare units of the Kavals Prefecture in Macedonia in Northern Greece." (Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1997)

Research Questions

The questions addressed in the following research include those of: (1) What are the requirements of successful telemedicine health care services; (2) What are the challenges of telemedicine in health care services? (3) Where does Greece stand in its offering of telemedicine health care services?


The methodology of the study reported herein is one of a qualitative nature and one that has been conducted through an extensive review of literature in this area of study. Qualitative research is interpretive and descriptive in nature. Literature reviewed will be comprised of journal articles, books, and other professional or academic works that are in the nature of peer-reviewed works in writing.

Literature Review

The work of Doukas, Maglogiannis and Kormentzas (2006) entitled: "Advanced Telemedicine Services Through Context-Aware Medical Networks" states that remote patient care and telemedicine platforms have been proven to be significant tools for "the optimization of patient treatment in isolated areas. " (Doukas, Maglogiannis and Kormentzas, 2006) Not only does telemedicine reduce costs associated with "transport, accommodation, and medical-professional related costs" but as well a "full time 24 hours per day, 7 days per week patient status monitoring is provided." (Doukas, Maglogiannis and Kormentzas, 2006)

Doukas, Maglogiannis and Kormentzas state that there are many implementations and proposals for telemedicine and e-health platforms however "only a few works include context awareness." (2006) Stated as the primary goal of context aware computing is the acquisition and utilization of information concerning the "context of a device to provide services that are appropriate to particular people, place, time, events, etc." (Doukas, Maglogiannis and Kormentzas, 2006) Doukas, Maglogiannis and Kormentzas state that the "Network Broker" is a "special software agent, which monitors network resources and activities. Its intelligence enables it to take decision regarding services and network usage leading this way to optimum network utilization. Doukas, Maglogiannis and Kormentzas state that given a specific conventional service, the corresponding active service constitutes the outcome of the application to the conventional service. Taking into account that the particular format of the services functions depends on the underlying networking environment, an active service can have various instances according to the particularities of the defined functions." (2006)

It is related that the actives services are comprised by the "patient monitoring tools" that have the capability of adapting the coding of the data that is generated to both underlying network conditions and the patient status itself." (Doukas, Maglogiannis and Kormentzas, 2006) The architecture of the context-aware medical networking framework as proposed in the work of Doukas, Maglogiannis and Kormentzas is shown in the following illustration.

Figure 1

The Context-Aware Medical Networking Framework Architecture

The proposed framework is comprised by the following modules: (1) the network monitoring module that determines the current network interface used and the corresponding status; (2) (2) the patient status monitoring module that collects patient data and makes the determination of the status of patients; (3) the data coding module which is responsible for properly coding the transmitted patient data, according to instruction given by the medical broker usually a repository containing predefined or dynamically defined threshold values for determining patient and network status. (Doukas, Maglogiannis and Kormentzas, 2006) Several health sensors along with vital signals are that determining the patient status. It is related that the architecture of the framework is open and not dependent on the monitoring applications used, the underlying networks or any other issues regarding the telemedicine system used." (Doukas, Maglogiannis and Kormentzas, 2006)

It is stated that for this reason Web Services have been utilized as a mechanism for communication between "the major framework components and the external patient monitoring applications used." The message exchanged is stated to have been implemented "through SOAP, a simple yet very effective and flexible XML-based communication mechanism." (Doukas, Maglogiannis and Kormentzas, 2006) The following illustration shows the message exchange between the framework's modules.

Figure 2

Message Exchange Between the Framework's Modules

It is reported that the primary components that comprise the platform are the biosensors which are attached to the patient… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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