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Three principles for determining the relevancy of store-and-forward and live interactive telemedicine: reinterpreting two telemedicine research reviews and other research.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality sponsored two telemedicine research reviews. The latest review concluded that telemedicine is most relevant to specialties, such as psychiatry and neurology, where high levels of patient interaction are crucial to assessment. Telemedicine research studies cited in the reviews having positive findings in the specialties of ophthalmology, otolaryngology, obstetrics and gynecology, gastroenterology, and cardiology and more recent research in these areas are reviewed to identify criteria other than degree of interaction for determining the appropriateness of telemedicine interventions. These criteria include congruity or the extent that procedures used in telemedicine are similar to those of in-person examination, fidelity or the degree to which the information used for assessment in remote examinations is of similar quality to that used in-person, and reliability or the consistency with which information can be gathered and transmitted.