Telemedicine and Telehealth: A Brief History

Telemedicine and Telehealth: A Brief History


The history of telemedicine is a long and storied one. It’s been around in some form or another since the late 1970s when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) began using it to diagnose astronauts who were in space. Tele medicine has come a long way since then—now, it can be used to treat patients all over the world, with just a few clicks of your mouse.

What Is Telemedicine?

The term “telemedicine” actually refers to any kind of medical care given remotely by someone who is not physically present with the patient. This  includes everything from video conferencing with
physicians or nurses to send prescriptions via email.

What Is the Origin of the Term “Telehealth”?

Telemedicine can be traced back to the 1860s when it was known as “teledermatology”. The term
“telehealth” was coined in 1951. Both terms have been used continuously since then and find increase use by health-conscious individuals.

When Was Telemedicine First Used?

In the 1960s and 1970s, telemedicine was often used as an emergency response system for people who were injured in traumatic accidents or who had medical emergencies while traveling. For example, if you were hurt on vacation and couldn’t get to a hospital, the doctors would be able to access your medical records and diagnose your injury remotely.

In the 1980s and 1990s, telemedicine became more common in rural areas where there weren’t enough doctors to go around. In these areas, doctors would use videoconferencing systems to meet with patients who lived far away from hospitals or clinics; this allowed them to treat more people without having to travel around as much themselves!

It was not until the late 1990s that telemedicine became more common in civilian life. People started using their computers to connect with doctors via video chat services like Skype (founded in 2003). This allowed them to get medical advice without having to travel all the way over there!

If you’re curious about what the future of healthcare might hold, then look no further than virtual doctor visits. Today, there are dozens of companies working to improve the experience for both patients and doctors, and telemedicine seems to only be getting more popular with each passing year. If you want more information on how it works or how telemedicine can change health care as we know it, take a look at the resources on our website.

Author bio

Dr. Lorie Poston is a nurse practitioner with over a decade of experience in medicine. She
is a dual board certified as a Family and an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care nurse practitioner and now
operates Telehealth Care Florida