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Telemedicine can be defined as the use of telecommunications technology to deliver or support health care over a distance. Using this definition, a telephone call to 911 or the use of a fax machine to transmit medical records is telemedicine, but the term more commonly implies the use of multimedia computing technology, such as videoconferencing and multimedia e-mail. Other terms related to telemedicine that have come into use are telehealth and telecare. Telehealth refers specifically to the use of telecommunications technology to support health care services. Continuing medical education through distance learning is one example of telehealth. Telecare refers to the emerging field of home monitoring and the support of chronic disease management in the home using telecommunications technology.
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