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ACAP’s qualified endorsement of telemedicine

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Magazine cover from 1928, during the early development of TV.

A new position paper from the American College of Physicians (ACP) gives a qualified endorsement of telemedicine.

The paper says that telemedicine can broaden access to care, improve outcomes, and reduce care costs, but that risks and benefits must be rigorously evaluated for both patients and physician.

The paper offers some recommendations  for successful telemedicine.

Among them:

“ACP believes that a valid patient–physician relationship must be established for a professionally responsible telemedicine service to take place. A telemedicine encounter itself can establish a patient–physician relationship through real-time audiovisual technology.”

But,  the  authors say,  a physician seeing a patient for the first time via telemedicine should begin a relationship based on the standard of care for an in-person visit or consult with another physician who has a relationship with the patient.





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