Telemedicine in Hand and Upper-Extremity Surgery

Published:November 09, 2019DOI:
      Smartphones, computers, and Internet access continue to become more available to both patients and physicians. As these technologies develop with respect to health care, opportunities for telemedicine visits continue to emerge. The purpose of this review article was to analyze the current use and potential applications of telemedicine in hand and upper-extremity surgery. Although the literature pertaining to the use of telemedicine in hand surgery is limited, videoconferencing visits may provide benefits to patients. Particularly in rural and underserved regions, patients can decrease considerable travel burdens. Potential applications for this technology include remote inpatient and emergency room consultations, outpatient clinic visits, and postoperative care. There are unique considerations with respect to confidentiality and security. As with any new technology, it is important to analyze safety concerns. Future randomized, prospective investigations are necessary to define the economic implications of telemedicine programs more clearly within hand and upper-extremity surgery.

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