Telemedicine in oncology or teleoncology integrates many so far well-known telemedicine elements such as teleconsultation, telesupport, telesurgery and telerobotics, teleeducation, and many others and is integral part of many disciplines such as internal medicine, surgery, dermatology, but also dentistry and psychooncology/psychiatry. Changes in ICT, new developments in oncology, the need to think and work interdisciplinarily, geographic and economic challenges as well as the transgression of sectoral boundaries as elements of modern teleoncology. Whereas the northern parts of Europe show a well-developed telemedicine infrastructure with a growing tendency to incorporate teleoncology for documentation, data analysis and quality assurance, in more southern countries this process is still underway and often marked by project status. Modern technology using xDSL and other terrestrial network lines but also satellite connectivity is at hand to cover a wide variety of telemedicine applications and services from which teleoncology benefits. More and more specifically designed software applications can be used to assess the medical workflow of an oncological patient and determine a life-long oncological electronic patient record. The trend, however, goes to the systemic integration of single applications and services into clinical information systems with a telemedicine approach. Although past evaluations of telemedicine applications and services have shown very positive results, only the right financial funding determines their survival and wide-spread usability in daily routine medical use. Formerly identifiable barriers for this use nowadays can be overcome more easily.
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