Telemedicine: Applying and Misapplying a Concept
By Dr. Lee D. Hieb, M.D.
“You might as well fall flat on your face as to lean too far over backwards.” —James Thurber
Technological advances in metallurgy, engineering, computers, and signal processing—to name a very few—have been translated into enormous gains for the practice of medicine. Where our forebears were reduced to tasting urine to make the diagnosis of diabetes, we can diagnose inborn errors of metabolism with a simple automated blood test, open coronary arteries without surgery, and stabilize fractures without plaster casts.
It is tempting to conclude that applying more technology is always better and that problems are best solved with the most sophisticated technology. This is not always the case, however, as many developing nations have discovered when trying to use Western sophistication.