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Evaluating Telemedicine In Rural Settings: Issues And Applications


  • Capalbo, Susan Marie
  • Heggem, Christine N.


Changes in health care policies, demographics, and technology have presented new opportunities for the delivery of medical care services and information to rural communities. Telemedicinethe use of electronic information and communications technologies to provide and support health care when distances separates the participantsis one technology that has impacted the efficiency of delivery of rural health care services. This paper presents an overview of the telemedicine technologies, government involvement in support of telemedicine, evaluation efforts to date for these technologies, and issues that need to be addressed in designing an economic-based framework to evaluate the net benefits of telemedicine technologies to rural communities and consumers. An evaluation framework needs to be capable of quantifying the tradeoffs among access to health care services, the costs of delivery of a given level of services, and changes in the quality of the service that is being delivered via electronic communications; and how these tradeoffs shift as the level of telemedicine and the technology changes. The framework that is proposed is based on models of consumer behavior that incorporate discrete choices among quality differentiated sites.

Suggested Citation

  • Capalbo, Susan Marie & Heggem, Christine N., 1998. "Evaluating Telemedicine In Rural Settings: Issues And Applications," Trade Research Center Research Discussion Papers 29240, Montana State University, Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:motrdp:29240

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brown, Gardner M, Jr & Mendelsohn, Robert, 1984. "The Hedonic Travel Cost Method," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(3), pages 427-433, August.
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    More about this item


    rural health care; telemedicine; averted costs; economic benefits; telecommunications technology; R0; Community/Rural/Urban Development; Health Economics and Policy; I1;

    JEL classification:

    • R0 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health


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