Predictors of continued use of telemedicine by primary care professionals, medical specialists and patients Academic Article uri icon


  • Proponents of telemedicine believe this technology will resolve many of the problems associated with the lack of access to specialty care by isolated populations. However, in order for telemedicine to be successful, health care professionals and patients must be willing to use it. Few studies exist that identify those characteristics that differentiate adopters from non-adopters of this technology. Furthermore, little is known about the kinds of health care professionals and patients who are willing to make continued use of telemedicine after initial adoption. Prior studies of the adoption of medical technology have identified personal characteristics such as age and gender among patients and age, gender, years since graduation from medical school, and medical specialty among providers as predictors of the adoption of medical technolgy. Using data collected from the first 483 teleconsultations performed by a West Texas medical system, we developed prediction models of the continued use of telemedicine using the personal characteristics of patients, primary care professionals, and medical specialists as predictors. We included the number of primary care professionals and specialists involved in prior teleconsultations in these prediction models. Patient characteristics contributed little to the prediction of continued use of telemedicine; however, characteristics of the health care professionals such as age, gender, and years since graduation as well as the number of health care personnel involved in previous consultations were significant predictors of the continued use of telemedicine. 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.

published proceedings

  • Research in the Sociology of Health Care

author list (cited authors)

  • McIntosh, W. A., Booher, J. R., Alston, L. T., Sykes, D., Segura, C. B., Wheeler, E. J., Hartman, T., & McCaughan, W.

complete list of authors

  • McIntosh, WA||Booher, JR||Alston, LT||Sykes, D||Segura, CB||Wheeler, EJ||Hartman, T||McCaughan, W

publication date

  • January 2001