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Assessment of telehealth applications: Version 1

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  • This outline of issues in the assessment of telehealth is intended as a resource document for health care funders, providers and administrators. Health authorities and others in Alberta face decisions on the procurement and use of this information and communication technology. Such decisions should be informed by the results of assessment. This publication provides a framework for use when specific telehealth applications are under consideration.

    A brief outline is given of general requirements for telehealth applications, bringing together some points which will need consideration during development of a business case. There is then a discussion of a more detailed approach to assessment. This covers specification, performance measures, outcomes, summary measures, operational considerations and other issues related to telehealth applications. Telepsychiatry and teleradiology are used as examples to provide further details of assessment elements. Use of cost analysis and further details on telehealth applications and their assessment are covered in appendices.

    This document gives a basic framework for assessment of telehealth applications. Use of the framework will require a commitment to systematic collection of data and to comparison of telehealth applications with alternatives. In applying the approaches given to evaluation of proposals and programs, analysts will need to give further consideration to issues such as the power and experimental design of comparative studies. Involvement of persons with expertise in evaluation will be highly desirable. Input from both managers and evaluators will be needed to provide a useful synthesis of assessment data in the context of the health care system.

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    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International