The History of Telemedicine

The past decade in telemedicine has brought new technology that’s allowed it to grow exponentially, bringing quality healthcare to rural areas nationwide. Iris Telehealth is proud to be a part of the revolution that brings mental healthcare to patients everywhere. But telemedicine started way earlier than the 21st century. In fact, the beginnings of the history of telemedicine date back to the early 1950s. Let's take a look at the history of telemedicine.

history of telemedicine

The Foundation of Telemedicine

Radio revolutionized communication in the early 1900s, having the domino effect of inspiration on seemingly every other field. Doctors began wondering when they might be able to tend to their patients remotely, and that came some 40 years later. In the 1940s, the first example radiology images were sent 24 miles between two towns. It was the first example of an electronic medical record transfer, which slowly became more widespread.

With the growth of motion pictures, video communication was used as a medical technique for the first time at the University of Nebraska in 1959. That research was the foundation for today’s telehealth practices, which are used to serve many rural communities nationwide. As you can see, the history of telemedicine has various roots.

The Growth of an Industry

Through the next few decades, telemedicine hit many milestones. In 1967, Boston’s Logan International Airport established a medical station that linked to Massachusetts General Hospital, treating patients with a two-way microwave audio/video link. In 1971, satellite communication used for telemedicine was tested in Alaska.

In 1972, NASA used two-way microwave transmissions to begin trial runs of telemedicine services for people in remote locations. In 1984, Australia pilot tested satellite communications networks to provide healthcare in five remote towns. In 1989, a one-way international telemedicine network for consultations between the Soviet Union and four medical centers in the United States was started. These developments were the foundation of what telemedicine is today.

history of telemedicine

Modern Telemedicine

Today, telemedicine is a common practice throughout the United States. Rural areas without access to quality healthcare can get the services they need through video communication with doctors who are located hours away. It offers many benefits, including decreased cost of healthcare by providing an affordable framework for delivering service. Many hospitals, clinics, and health centers have started using telemedicine to deliver more care to their patients.

Iris Telehealth

Iris Telehealth is owned and operated by doctors. We were founded with the idea of bringing quality mental healthcare to underserved areas – which we’ve done in many states like Virginia, Texas, and Arizona. We are adaptable to your systems and understand the importance of your needs. We pride ourselves on being experts in telemedicine and psychiatry practices. For more information, contact us.