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Telemedicine — the transfer and use of medical information via electronic communications media. Such media include telephones, fax machines, interactive video, email, and instant electronic monitoring. Offering healthcare services with the assistance of electronic media offers a number of advantages including: providing specialty care to underserved rural and urban populations, alleviating transportation hardships and costs, and new possibilities for continuing education. However, there are potential drawbacks and liabilities, including: determining which set of professional standards apply when treatment/diagnosis is conducted from multiple locations, privacy issues, and questions concerning establishment of a professional relationship. (E.g., does a remote, electronic encounter establish one?)

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