Telehealth refers to the use of telecommunication technology to remove time and distance barriers in the delivery of healthcare services. Telehealth can help nurses provide education and counseling, social support, disease monitoring, and disease management reminders to cardiovascular patients in their homes. As a result, patients gain more flexibility in scheduling healthcare visits, have easier and more convenient access to healthcare, may have fewer time-demanding clinic visits, receive care in a location that does not require the burden of transportation, and in an environment that is less threatening than a clinic or emergency department. Cardiovascular healthcare may be enhanced through diverse telehealth applications, including sensor technology and wearable monitoring systems, Internet-based peripheral monitoring devices, videophones, interactive voice response systems, and nanotechnology. Although telehealth enhances care, legal, human, and environmental factors need to be considered before implementing a telehealth program. Additionally, more evidence that is obtained through large multicenter controlled trials about the potential benefits and cost effectiveness of telecardiovascular health is needed.
Nancy T. Artinian, PhD, RN, BC Professor, College of Nursing, Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich.
This work was supported in part by a grant from NINR/NIH, #RO1 NR 7682, 2001-2006 and a Center for Health Research Summer Research Initiative grant, Wayne State University.
Corresponding author Nancy T. Artinian, PhD, RN, BC, College of Nursing, Wayne State University, 5557 Cass Avenue, Room 344 Cohn, Detroit, MI 48202 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).