Evid Based Nurs doi:10.1136/ebn-2011-100082
  • Adult nursing
  • Systematic review with meta-analysis

A systematic review and meta-analysis of ICU telemedicine reinforces the need for further controlled investigations to assess the impact of telemedicine on patient outcomes

  1. Nigel R Armfield1,2
  1. 1Centre for Online Health, The University of Queensland, Australia
  2. 2Queensland Children's Medical Research Institute, The University of Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to: Anthony C Smith
    Centre for Online Health, The University of Queensland Royal Children's Hospital, Level 3 Foundation Building, Herston Road, Brisbane, QLD 4029, Australia; asmith{at}

Commentary on:

Implications for practice and research

  • Telemedicine applications are becoming more common for the delivery of specialist care, patient monitoring, education and support, though the uptake has been slow and fragmented.

  • Telemedicine may have the potential to reduce mortality and length of stay (LOS) for patients in the intensive care unit (ICU).

  • More controlled studies in telemedicine are required to determine clinical and cost-effectiveness.


Telemedicine is gaining momentum as a potentially valuable method of delivering clinical expertise and sharing health-related information between locations. The value of telemedicine is likely to be greater in rural and remote regions, where specialists are in short supply or not present. Telephone advice is one of the more ubiquitous forms of telemedicine; however, the use of videoconferencing allows for real-time viewing of patients, medical equipment, monitors and x-rays – thus simulating an ‘in the room’ experience. In the context of critical care telemedicine, where …

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