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Telemedicine: What reporters need to know

Telemedicine is the use of telecommunications for clinical care. The American Telemedicine Association defines it as two-way video, email, smartphones, wireless tools and other forms of telecommunications that provide primary care, specialty care, remote monitoring, consumer and medical information and medical education. 

In writing and reporting on telemedicine, exact definitions matter because patients, organizations and policymakers see it differently. It can be very broad and open-ended or very precise. The explanation of exact uses can be finagled to manipulate payment and legality.

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