While much of the literature highlights the benefits of telemedicine, it must be understood that there are limitations to this concept as well. Three of the main limitations for telemedicine is the privacy of medical Information, relationship or lack of a relationship between patient and provider, and the associated liability for the providers and organizations they are affiliated with.
Below are more specific examples of limitations to the consumer provider and organization.
- lowers level of trust between patient and provider
- Users may be intimidated by the technology (such as the elderly population)
- The uncertainty of their medical consultation privacy
- requires a new design on the risk management
- practitioner-patient relationship with various patient populations in face-to-face consultation is now potentially further complicated by communication technology due to the change in dynamics in delivery
- clinicians with superior expertise in ethics and practice may lack technical expertise or perspective
- may have difficulty in communicating with seniors who have an increase in dementia and sensory impairment.
Health Care Organizations
- requires to develop a telemedicine specific policies and procedures
- increased risk of liability
- limited technological support in rural areas
- the pace of development and capability of technology will force telehealth ‘solutions’ upon us.
As telemedicine continues to evolve, these challenges will be addressed to improve on the overall experience for all.