An economic analysis of email-based telemedicine: A cost minimisation study of two service models
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Email-based telemedicine has been reported to be an efficient method of delivering online health services to patients at a distance and is often described as a low-cost form of telemedicine. The service may be low-cost if the healthcare organisation utilise their existing email infrastructure to provide their telemedicine service. Many healthcare organisations use commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) email applications. COTS email applications are designed for peer-to-peer communication; hence, in situations where multiple clinicians need to be involved, COTS applications may be deficient in delivering telemedicine. Larger services often rely on different staff disciplines to run their service and telemedicine tools for supervisors, clinicians and administrative staff are not available in COTS applications. Hence, some organisations may choose to develop a purpose-written email application to support telemedicine. We have conducted a cost-minimisation analysis of two different service models for establishing and operating an email service. The first service model used a COTS email application and the second used a purpose-written telemedicine application.
BMC Health Services Research
Copyright 2008 Paul et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Page numbers are not for citation purposes. Instead, this article has the unique article number of 107.