Telemedicine has been defined by the World Health Organization as practical health care which uses interactive audio and visual communication and exchange of information. It represents a new level in technological development, whose basic goal is to improve health protection and health care by means of computers and information technologies. It is important to emphasize that telemedicine is a medical process, rather than just pure technology. Since it is technologically feasible and cost-effective, it deserves full attention of researchers.

Telemedicine means the remote delivery of health services by means of ICT. The health services thus provided are consultation services and diagnostic and therapeutic procedures based on the information available via the information and communication system. - the Ordinance on the conditions, organization and manner of practising telemedicine.

Telemedicine has changed the traditional way of providing health services because it makes it possible, by videoconferencing in real time, to connect with a specialist doctor, regardless of the distance and geographical position, thus increasing your quality of life, sparing you the need to travel unnecessarily and saving time and money.

Making an appointment and visiting a telemedicine centre:

Based on the medical referral form from your primary health care doctor, contact the referring health professional (see the above picture on the right) in the health centre and ask for an appointment for a health service. The appointment is cancelled by phone or in writing at least two days before the appointment.

Work organization and type of telemedicine services

Telemedicine centres can be:

  • telemedicine access centre,
  • telemedicine specialist centres.

A telemedicine access centre is a place where telemedicine services are received, and a telemedicine specialist centre is a place where telemedicine services are received and provided by specialties.

Telemedicine services are divided according to their type and the manner of their delivery. Telemedicine services according to their type can be:

  • regular,
  • emergency,
  • supervision.

Regular telemedicine services are provided at the request of areferring health professional in a telemedicine specialist centre at an agreed time.

Emergency telemedicine services are provided by a teleconsultant in a telemedicine specialist centre at the request of the referring health professional in emergency and life-threatening situations.

Supervision telemedicine services comprise the supervision of health of the service recipient.

Participants in providing and receiving telemedicine services are the following:

  • A teleconsultantis a medical doctor or a medical specialist doctor who provides a telemedicine service.
  • A referring health professionalis a medical doctor or a health-care professional who requests a telemedicine service.
  • A service recipient is a patient on behalf of whom the service has been requested.

A contracting authority is a legal or natural person who has founded a telemedicine centre based on an approval issued by the Institute of Telemedicine and has concluded a contract with an institute which provides compulsory healthy insurance or with other legal persons who provide compulsory or voluntary health insurance. Contracting parties can be health institutions, companies that provide health care and private health care professionals.

An insurer is an institute in charge of obligatory health insurance and other legal persons who provide voluntary health insurance