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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: James C Townsend, DHSc., MBA, MIS (A. T. Still University)
Description: This unique book highlights select publications from the 2nd International Conference on Global Telehealth held in 2012. It contains articles submitted from around the globe that cover developing topics in telehealth, but it is not intended to be a complete collection of the developments in the field.
Purpose: The purpose is to present papers from the conference deemed to have lasting value and to capture the international diversity and variations of scope in contemporary telehealth developments. The book is a much needed addition to research into the delivery of health services at a distance.
Audience: The authors state that this book "will be of interest to all those concerned with improving the provision of healthcare worldwide." All people working in or responsible for healthcare delivery will be interested in the articles presented in this book. The authors are respected authorities in the field of telehealth, especially throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Features: The book contains articles of various scopes. Some topics include virtual simulation training at a distance, innovative ways to retrieve medical records, and smartphone applications that detect periodic limb movements. A great feature of this book is that it does not heavily cover one area of telehealth, but rather presents an overview of various developments and applications across the globe. A separate subject index and author index make it easier to find articles on certain topics or by particular authors. One shortcoming is that the book presents a somewhat limited collection of telehealth technologies. Although the authors' purpose was to present papers "deemed to have lasting value," I can't help but wonder what didn't make it into this book.
Assessment: Telehealth is a rapidly growing area in healthcare. This is a much needed addition to that rapidly growing field, as it recounts the growth of telehealth across a wide range of specialties. One thing that could increase the value of this book would be to include a section with a list of articles presented at the conference that did not make it into the book. Although the articles have been reviewed by an international committee of content experts, having a list of all the articles would allow readers to not only read the articles selected for this book, but also have a way of following their topic of interest. Overall, the book is a great representation of telehealth developments across the globe.