Hakansson S et al. 2000 "What do we really know about the cost-effectiveness of telemedicine?"

Hakansson S, Gavelin C. What do we really know about the cost-effectiveness of telemedicine? J Telemed Telecare 2000;6 Suppl 1:133-136.
"Telemedicine is still in its infancy, but undergoing rapid development. It is very difficult to evaluate telemedicine. We performed a literature survey (Medline). During the period 1990-8, over 1500 articles on telemedicine were published. Of these, 246 mentioned economic aspects in the abstract (16%). We selected 29 studies although few had demonstrated cost-effectiveness. Benefits for the patients in the form of reduced travel and waiting time must often be weighed against increased provider costs. Up to now, telemedicine in general has not had any significant effect on medical practice, or the structure and organization of health-care. In order to utilize the potential of telemedicine, its integration with traditional health-care is very important. There are country-specific variations in the health systems that make it difficult to generalize the results from one country to another."
"To update our knowledge about the cost-effectiveness of telemedicine."
not applicable
Type of Health IT
Type of Health IT Functions
The functions varied across the articles reviewed.
Workflow-Related Findings
The authors selected and reviewed 29 articles. The authors concluded that, up to now, telemedicine has had little impact on the medical practice, structure, and organization of health care. They further concluded that it makes little sense to try and evaluate the economic impact of telemedicine in general, without taking the specific use and setting into account.
Study Design
Systematic literature review
Study Participants
The authors reviewed the literature between 1990 and 1998 to update knowledge about cost-effectiveness of telemedicine. During this period 1,500 articles about telemedicine were published, and 246 (16 percent) of them mentioned economic aspects. They "selected 29 studies although few had demonstrated cost-effectiveness."