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The virtual visit: using telecommunications technology to take care of patients.

Authors
  • Friedman, R H1
  • Stollerman, J E
  • Mahoney, D M
  • Rozenblyum, L
  • 1 Evans Memorial Department of Clinical Research, Boston Medical Center, Boston University School of Medicine, MA 02118, USA. [email protected]
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1997
Volume
4
Issue
6
Pages
413–425
Identifiers
PMID: 9391929
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Telephone-Linked Care (TLC) technology has been developed and applied as an alternative to and a supplement for office visits as a means to deliver ambulatory care. TLC is used to monitor patients with chronic diseases, counsel patients on important health behaviors, and provide information and support to home caregivers of patients with disabling conditions. TLC speaks to patients over the telephone in their homes using computer-controlled digitized human speech. Patients use their telephone keypad to communicate. TLC conversations last 2-15 minutes per call and take place weekly for periods of at least 3 months. The conversations consist of a salutation, password verification, the core clinical part, and a closing. The structure of the clinical part is similar for each of the application groups: chronic disease, health behavior, and caregiver support. The system architecture consists of linked voice and database components and their subcomponents. Preliminary evaluation indicates that TLC is well accepted by patients and their providers and can improve clinical outcomes.

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