A Retrospective Evaluation of Telemedicine in Remote Naval Populations Seeking Specialty Care
Rept. for Aug 1997- Jan 2000
NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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Telemedicine technologies, such as lnternet and live videoteleconferencing vTC, have great potential to provide specialized health care for naval personnel in remote situations at sea or onshore. A retrospective evaluation was conducted on telemedicine usein TRICARE Region Nine which has a hub military treatment facility MTF at Naval Medical Center, San Diego providing specialty consultations for seven remote MTFs in southern California. A total of I 364 telemedicine consultations by VTC 76 and store-and forward 24 modalities were analyzed. Substantial variation in telemedicine use was seen among the MTFs Port Hueneme 352 consults Vandenburg 45 consults. The rate of telemedicine use for specialty care in TRICARE Region Nine increased regularly and substantially with the age of the telemedicine systems time since operational this finding generalized across MTFs and several medical specialties. Preliminary data indicated that diagnoses changed in 49 of consultations. The relatively high rate of telemedicine use for specialty care seen in this network makes TRICARE Region Nine an excellent system for study. Quantitative models including factors that predict use and clinical impact of telemedicine for specialty care in remote MTFs would provide valuable guidance for application of such technologies on small ships at sea.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies