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Med Arh. 2017; 71(5): 351-355


Application of Ethics for Providing Telemedicine Services and Information Technology

Fateme Moghbeli; Mostafa Langarizadeh; Ali Aliabadi.

Abstract
Introduction: Advanced technology has increased the use of telemedicine and Information Technology (IT) in treating or rehabilitating diseases. An increased use of technology increases the importance of the ethical issues involved. The need for keeping patients’ information confidential and secure, controlling a number of therapists’ inefficiency as well as raising the quality of healthcare services necessitates adequate heed to ethical issues in telemedicine provision. Aim: The goal of this review is gathering all articles that are published through 5 years until now (2012-2017) for detecting ethical issues for providing telemedicine services and Information technology. The reason of this time is improvement of telemedicine and technology through these years. This article is important for clinical practice and also to world, because of knowing ethical issues in telemedicine and technology are always important factors for physician and health providers. Material and methods: the required data in this research were derived from published electronic sources and credible academic articles published in such databases as PubMed, Scopus and Science Direct. The following key words were searched for in separation and combination: tele-health, telemedicine, ethical issues in telemedicine. A total of 503 articles were found. After excluding the duplicates (n= 93), the titles and abstracts of 410 articles were skimmed according to the inclusion criteria. Finally, 64 articles remained. They were reviewed in full text and 36 articles were excluded. At the end, 28 articles were chosen which met our eligibility criteria and were included in this study. Results: Ethics has been of a great significance in IT and telemedicine especially the Internet since there are more chances provided for accessing information. It is, however, accompanied by a threat to patients’ personal information. Therefore, suggestions are made to investigate ethics in technology, to offer standards and guidelines to therapists. Due to the advancement in technology, access to information has become simpler than the past. This has prompted hackers to seize the opportunity. Discussion: This research shows that the ethical issues in telemedicine can be investigated from several aspects like technology, doctor-patient relationship, data confidentiality and security, informed consent, patient’s and family’s satisfaction with telemedicine services. Following ethical issues in telemedicine is a primary aspect of high quality services. In other words, if therapists abide by ethical rules, they can provide better services for patients. Attention to ethical issues in telemedicine guarantees a safer use of the services.

Key words: Telemedicine;Tele-health;Ethics;Technology;Information Technology


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