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Telemedicine Technologies: Information Technologies in Medicine and Telehealth by C.K. Li, A.C.M. Fong, Bernard Fong

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9

Future Trends in Healthcare Technology

Throughout the previous eight chapters, we have discussed how telemedicine and related technologies assist various aspects of healthcare and medical practices. Most of the technologies have a long proven history. Data communications evolved from the first telephone by Graham Bell and Elisha Gray formed the basis of many modern telemedicine systems deployed throughout the world today (Bashshur, 2009). Technology advances and innovative breakthroughs are opening a wide range of possibilities in medical and healthcare services. The Health Informatics Review Report published by the UK’s (Department of Health, 2008) discusses the importance of delivering better and safer healthcare services through research, planning and management in health informatics.

Telemedicine is certainly an important core technology for healthcare service delivery. Evolving technologies make data communication faster, safer, and more economical. Reliability is the most important aspect of any system as we learned in section 5.4. Indeed, an unreliable system would be useless no matter what it is capable of doing. We shall begin this chapter by looking at how reliability can be optimized.

9.1 Prognostics in Telemedicine

The word ‘prognostics’ usually refers to a forecast of what might happen based on signs or symptoms in making a prognosis. This implies prognostics can predict what might happen to a system so that reliability can be assured. For example, we can deduce ...

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