The History Of Telemedicine

When was Telemedicine Invented? History of Telemedicine

Quick Summary: Interested to gain an idea of when was telemedicine invented? It was invented in the mid-20th century, with its initial roots dating back to the 1960s . It was when remote medical consultations and data transmission began to take shape, marking a significant advancement in healthcare delivery.


These days, no person is unaware of Telemedicine. It has certainly been taking over the healthcare industry lately. The benefits of telehealth services no longer seem to be a hidden fact.

Exposure to the latest technological advancements and communication systems is adding to the popularity of virtual health. Although it is a straightforward concept to everyone, many still have a question: When was Telemedicine invented? Many are still surprised to know that it has existed for centuries.

Moreover, the history of telehealth technologies and their recent popularity are due to increased interest in on-demand healthcare services. The main aim of this health technology is to treat patients and communicate data over long distances. People have probably been using this for a long time. Are you curious to know when was telemedicine invented? Keep reading.

What is Telemedicine?

The introduction of modern technology in the world has led to the widespread adoption of telemedicine services in the healthcare sector, irrespective of the practice size. Hence, Telemedicine isn’t a relatively new term in medical schools.

To simplify Telemedicine, it is about delivering remote clinical services using telecommunications technology. But how is telehealth used in healthcare? It assists health administration in providing affordable and convenient medical care to patients by medical professionals. Moreover, it saves time, reduces costs, and enhances the efficiency of the health system.

These remote healthcare services ensure patients don’t miss any other physical exam, examination or examinations through webcam. Hence, medical facilities can be provided through real-time interaction.

Telemedicine consists of reimbursement policies, legalities, and developing a relationship between caregiver and taker. It makes use of technological advancements like mobile devices and digital health resources.

Having a closer look at Telemedicine statistically, it has grown by leaps and bounds. Telehealth technology has plenty of benefits, in general, to offer for both medical students and care seekers.

As per data from Advanced Data Systems Corporation, here are a few statistics to take note of:

  • About 50 percent of healthcare organizations in the United States provide telemedicine services.
  • The adoption rates are higher in Alaska, Arkansas, and South Dakota.
  • About 800,000 telemedicine consultations place in the US in 2015.
  • Additionally, the global market of Telemedicine was at $17.8 billion.
  • he demand for telehealth services might keep growing at 18.4% each year.

Types of Telemedicine

Types of Telemedicine

Remote patient monitoring

Telemedicine facilitates nurse practitioners with remote patient monitoring that helps them monitor patients and keep track of patients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and blood pressure. Remote monitoring helps rural communities provide healthcare professionals with electronic health record data for review.

Hence, one can conduct primary care visits can be performede through remote communication and technologies. RPM makes dealing with chronic diseases or at-risk patients easier without going to a hospital or clinic.

Remote monitoring imitates clinic physical exams and depends on tracking tools and electronic health records. These tools assist health care professionals in monitoring health and receiving data effectively.

Hence, it facilitates remote patient monitoring and is an incredible help to providers. It further reduces readmission to hospitals and enhances patient-provider relationships.

Examples of RPM telemedicine tools:

  • Glucose tracking devices
  • Wearable devices for tracking fitness levels
  • Smart beds help monitor patients’ health, get in touch with hospital devices, and make necessary changes for health outcomes.
  • Sensors that keep track of the gait and balance of people

Enhance Patient Experience

Store-and-forward Telemedicine

Store and forward telemedicine solutions, also referred to as asynchronous telemedicine solutions, help providers store and forward medical data. This type of solution should be secure, private, and HIPAA compliant.

It helps providers patients to seek the same level of convenience in person visit that patients desire with real-time treatment. Hence, rather than going through a tedious process for sharing patient data, a doctor can send patient preference emails with related data during diagnosis.

Asynchronous Telemedicine helps in improving clinical communication and patient outcomes. Everyone in the healthcare delivery system, such as patients, providers, and physicians, can share and receive information. There is no need to stay in the same room to continue the treatment process.

Examples of store-and-forward telemedicine:

  • Radio doctor uses teleradiology solutions to transmit X-rays to another radiologist
  • Teledermatology solutions can help in sending photos for remote diagnosis
  • Telepsychiatry helps enable remote behavioral health treatment

Real-time telehealth

Just like asynchronous Telemedicine, Real-time digital health is known as synchronous Telemedicine. It helps in establishing communication between physician and patient. This communication takes place via video or audio and replaces in-person visits. One can conduct it from the comfort zone of the patient’s home. Synchronous Telemedicine refers specifically to video conferencing or audio communication through HIPAA-compliant platforms.  Telemedicine refers specifically to video conferencing or audio communication through HIPAA-compliant platforms.

Synchronous Telemedicine helps both parties quickly and conveniently provide treatment, but it intends to replace in-person visits partially. It enables consultations, recommendations, and patient monitoring. Instead, it plans to be an add-on service for people in rural areas with less access.

Examples of real-time Telemedicine:

  • Live video and audio conferencing
  • Emergency virtual consultations
  • Remote follow-up visits

Evolution of Telemedicine: When was Telemedicine Invented?

Evolution of Telemedicine

To answer your question, when was telemedicine invented? It is not a newer term to medical healthcare professionals and industry. It has existed in different forms since the 1950s, per specific data.

Many professional health-related education universities and hospitals use telephones to share electronic information and electronic health records, consult patients, and share images across geographical boundaries. In 1925, a cool concept like teledactyl was hit by Inventor Hugo Gernsback. He through it envisioned to offer video game-like controllers to assess patients remotely.

The main goal of Telemedicine was to connect with patients who reside in rural areas and deliver best-in-class medical care, as if they were physically present in a full medical care facility. eVisit was the developer of a patient engagement platform in the 1960s. At that time, the US government channeled lots of money into public healthcare services and innovation.

Telemedicine helps deliver health care services to areas with scarce access to other medical health care, services or equipment. Hence, Telemedicine has, over the years, grown to be a tool for convenience for everyone.

The adoption rate of virtual health has increased because of constant developments in intelligent and personal medical devices. Adoption got faster after COVID-19 pandemic. Patients feel empowered these days to take charge of their health. They can track their health data all through their smart devices.

They can even communicate with their doctors through HIPAA compliance software. Therefore, who would like to waste time traveling in a waiting room when you can do it from home?

History of telehealth and Telemedicine

Ancient Telemedicine

Ancient Telemedicine
Curious when was telemedicine invented and how did it all start? During its inception, Telemedicine was at an essential stage in places like Greece and Rome around 500 BC. At this time, there were no communication technologies.

Hence, human messengers kept on transferring necessary medical supplies and advice. Additionally, indicators like smoke signals and light reflections helped in communicating information. These signals indicated events like any major disease outbreak or birth.

Early Telemedicine

Early Telemedicine
The development of telegraphs and telephones played a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of Telemedicine as we know it today.

These innovations revolutionized long-distance communication, significantly accelerated information delivery, and became accessible to the general public on a large scale. Consequently, during the Civil War, they were instrumental in the military, facilitating the ordering of medical supplies and the rapid communication of casualties on the battlefield.

One of the earliest instances of Telemedicine dates back to the 1940s in Pennsylvania, where one used to transmit radiology images via telephone lines between two towns spanning 24 miles. This groundbreaking event is likely the world’s first electronic medical record transfer example.

Building upon this, a Canadian doctor in the 1950s expanded this concept into a teleradiology system. In 1959, the University of Nebraska established a two-way television system to disseminate medical information to students, later connecting it to a state hospital for video consultations.

Moreover, in 1967, the University of Miami School of Medicine collaborated with the local fire department to transmit ECG rhythms over the radio to Jackson Memorial Hospital in rescue situations.

As telephones became ubiquitous, physicians could offer medical guidance to their patients over the phone and consult with fellow medical professionals, to exchange vital information. While modern communication methods may overshadow the significance of telephones today, they undeniably played a fundamental role in the evolution of Telemedicine.

Latest Telemedicine We Know Today

Latest Telemedicine We Know Today
You might be now aware of when was telemedicine invented? The genesis of modern Telemedicine, as we know it today, took shape during the 1960s, a period marked by significant advancements in the transmission of medical data, including video and images.

Pioneering this field in 1959, clinicians at the University of Nebraska made history using video communication for medical purposes. They initiated interactive Telemedicine, pioneering the transmission of neurological examinations and setting the stage for subsequent programs in this domain.

A pivotal moment in the evolution of telemedicine solutions for hospitals emerged through a groundbreaking government initiative known as Space Technology Applied to Rural Papago Advanced Health Care (STARPAHC). This visionary project brought Telemedicine services to the Native American communities of the Papago Reservation in Arizona, utilizing the same cutting-edge technology employed by astronauts during space missions.

The STARPHAC project ignited a spark of interest within the Telemedicine community that would burn brightly for decades. Universities, medical centers, and research organizations were quick to step forward with innovative and ambitious projects, propelling the rapid expansion and growth of Telemedicine technology.

How can Bigscal Help in Telemedicine App Development?

Bigscal, with its innovative prowess, plays a transformative role in Telemedicine App Development. Our expertise involves crafting secure, user-friendly telemedicine technology and clinical applications facilitating remote monitoring and seamless doctor-patient interactions. Bigscal harnesses the power of AI for intelligent data analysis, ensuring accurate diagnoses and personalized treatment plans.

Their commitment to compliance with healthcare regulations, assuring data privacy, and HIPAA compliance sets them apart. They excel in building telehealth solutions that transcend borders, connecting patients with specialists globally. Their agile development approach also ensures rapid deployment and adaptability to evolving medical needs.

Bigscal isn’t just a development partner; they’re the bridge between modern technology and accessible, quality healthcare, reshaping the future of Telemedicine.

From Past to Present


Telehealth and Telemedicine represent organic progressions within the healthcare sector, driven by the rapid advancement of telecommunications technologies, mobile technology, and online communication. The healthcare industry mirrors trends seen in other sectors as it strives to adapt to continually shifting regulations and evolving patient expectations in providing care.

These technological breakthroughs, which are shaping and steering Telemedicine, align closely with shifting paradigms in healthcare. They empower healthcare professionals to prioritize patient satisfaction and engagement, underscore the significance of seamless access to clinical services, and emphasize to healthcare software providers the value of affordability and user-friendly solutions. Hope you might have recieved satisfactory answers to when was telemedicine invented.


Telemedicine began in the mid-20th century, with the first notable use of telehealthcare technologies emerging around the 1960s.

The history of Telemedicine traces back to the 1960s when video communication for medical purposes began to take shape. Since then, it has evolved significantly.

Telemedicine gained popularity due to technological advancements, which enabled remote medical consultations, improved access to the healthcare system, and catered to the growing demand for convenient healthcare services.

Telemedicine experienced a significant boom in recent years, particularly in the early 21st century, driven by increased internet accessibility, improved video conferencing technology, and the need for remote healthcare services during global events like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Telehealth is a broader term encompassing all remote medical services, including human services and non-clinical ones like health education and monitoring. Telemedicine refers explicitly to remote clinical services administration as consultations and diagnoses.