Computer and telecommunications technologies have unleashed a wide range of powerful tools for gathering, storing, and distributing patient information. Computerized records enable healthcare providers to rapidly access patient data and to closely monitor patients from a distance. These significant advantages can be further extended by using the technology to more fully involve patients in their own healthcare management. A patient-centric approach to telemedicine means that the patient takes on additional responsibility and control, and the benefits from increased patient involvement will translate into improved compliance, reduced litigation, lower costs, and better outcomes. Furthermore, there are often important ethical questions that are best decided by the informed patient. Patients have a right to know what information is being gathered and who will be authorized to access that information. Current health information systems do not adequately address these issues, and telemedicine applications -- particularly home based telemedicine -- is forcing everyone to take a closer look at patients’ roles in their own healthcare. In this presentation, a patient-centric home telemedicine database is described, the limitations are discussed, and future directions are proposed.
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