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Telehealth is an umbrella term for delivering health services and information using electronic methods. It can include physicians discussing a patient’s illness by telephone, video conferencing between health facilities, and even remote surgical procedures.

Patients can also practice telehealth by using e-mail to set up appointments with a physician or using smart phones and online applications to fill prescriptions at a pharmacy.

Remote medical care is an important aspect of telehealth for rural America as it can improve services provided to underserved areas. This guide describes telehealth initiatives in rural areas including telemedicine and health information technology.

Last Reviewed: 3/17/2014

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Funding for this project was supported by Grant Number U56RH05539 from the Office of Rural Health Policy, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents of this website are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the funder.