Telemedicine in San Diego, CA

What Is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine can be defined as using technology (computers, video, phone, messaging) by a medical professional to diagnose and treat patients in a remote location.

Telemedicine allows health care professionals to examine, diagnose and treat patients at a distance using telecommunications technology. The approach has gone through a striking evolution in the last ten years and it is becoming an increasingly important part of the American healthcare system.


What we recognize as telemedicine today started in the 1950's when a few hospital systems and university medical centers started to try to find ways to share information and images through the telephone. In one of the first successes, two health centers in Pennsylvania were able to transmit radiologic images over the phone.

In the early days, telemedicine was used mainly to connect doctors working with a patient in one location to specialists somewhere else. This was of great benefit to rural or hard to reach populations where specialists aren't readily available. Throughout the next several decades, the equipment necessary to conduct remote visits remained expensive and complex, so the use of the approach, while expanding, was limited.

The rise of the internet age brought with it profound changes for the practice of telemedicine. The proliferation of smart devices, with the ability of high-quality video transmission, created the opportunity of providing remote healthcare to patients in their homes, workplaces or assisted living facilities as an alternative to in-person visits for both primary and specialty care.

Telemedicine vs Telehealth

Although the terms telemedicine and telehealth are frequently used interchangeably, there is a difference between the two.

The term telehealth includes a wide range of technologies and services to offer patient care and enhance the healthcare delivery system overall. Telehealth is different from telemedicine because it refers to a broader scope of remote healthcare services than telemedicine. While telemedicine refers specifically to remote clinical services, telehealth can refer to remote non-clinical services, such as provider training, administrative meetings, and continuing medical education, along with clinical services. According to the World Health Organization, telehealth includes, "Surveillance, health promotion and public health functions."

Telemedicine includes using electronic communications and software to provide clinical services to individuals without an in-person visit. Telemedicine technology is often used for follow-up visits, management of chronic conditions, medication management, specialist consultation and a host of other clinical services that can be provided remotely through secure video and audio connections.

Telemedicine Benefits

Using telemedicine as an alternative to in-person visits has a host of advantages for individuals and providers alike.

Patients enjoy:

  • Less time away from work
  • No traveling expenses or time
  • Less interference with child or elder care responsibilities
  • Privacy
  • No exposure to other possibly contagious patients

Providers enjoy:

  • Increased revenue
  • Better office efficiency
  • A response to the competitive threat of retail health clinics and on-line only providers
  • Improved patient follow through and improved health results
  • Less missed appointments and cancellations
  • Private payer reimbursement


There are few limitations to how telemedicine can be used. Here are a few examples of how it is being used today.

Follow-up visits

Using health software for regular follow-up visits is not only more efficient for providers and patients, but it also increases the likelihood of follow-up, reducing missed appointments and improving patient outcomes.

Remote chronic illness management

The growing rate of chronic disease is a major challenge for our health system. It is a prime candidate for using telemedicine software because it makes it easier and less expensive for individuals to maintain control over their health.

Remote post-hospitalization care

One telehealth program for individuals with congestive heart failure reduced 30-day hospital readmissions by 73 percent and six-month readmissions by 50 percent.

Preventative care support

Weight loss and smoking cessation are the keys to lowering cardiovascular disease and a host of other conditions. Telemedicine can be a valuable device in connecting providers with patients to be sure they receive the help they need to be successful.

School based telehealth

When children get ill at school, they might see a school nurse or be picked up by their parents and taken to an urgent care facility. Some innovative districts have teamed up with medical professionals to conduct remote visits from the school. The provider can assess the urgency of the case and give instructions or reassurance to parents.

Assisted living center support

Telemedicine software has already proven to be useful in keeping residents of assisted living facilities out of the hospital. Problems often take place at night or on weekends, making hospitalization the only option even for less urgent issues. With telemedicine, on-call physicians can conduct a remote visit to determine if hospitalization is necessary.

For more information about Dr. Linette's practice and Telemedicine in San Diego, California, contact us at 760-875-2627 or visit our website at and schedule your appointment today!

Dr. Williamson's guidance can help you return to an improved quality of life.

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