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History of Telemedicine

Rashid L. Bashshur, PhD and Gary W. Shannon, PhD

2009 • ISBN13 978-1-934854-11-2 • ISBN e-book 978-1-934854-04-2
Hardcover • 415 pages, 107 illus • Trim size: 7 x 10


“. . . the book takes readers on a fascinating journey through the evolution, context, and transformation of telemedicine. History aficionados will thoroughly enjoy the initial section, which provides a series of stories about telecommunication in ancient times—when, similar to today, societies struggled with ways to treat distant ‘patients.’”
     Stanley W. Borg, JAMA



“Telemedicine has finally received the interesting and balanced historical recognition it deserves. Drs. Bashshur and Shannon have produced an excellent, exhaustive history of this method of delivering health care, from smoke signals in ancient Greece to today's instant computer communications, including stereo vision and haptics. The current state of the art of telemedicine is filled with impersonal high-tech devices and methods, but the authors never lose sight of the field's primary goal: to improve patient care and benefit the public health.”
     Donald A.B. Lindberg, MD
     National Library of Medicine


“Few researchers have been as involved in the modern era of telemedicine as Bashshur and Shannon. They have produced a work that is comprehensive, carefully researched, intellectually rigorous, and very well written. The authors have managed to bring this history to life, weaving anecdotes and personal accounts of telemedicine’s development and evolution into the research literature. For the reader who wishes to understand how telemedicine got to where it is today, this book is essential.”
     Jim Grigsby, PhD
     University of Colorado Denver



“As someone who thought he knew most of what had gone before, and how the field had matured, I found very early into this scholarly, incredibly well researched, and comprehensive manuscript how much more I needed to learn. This will now become my reference source and there is little doubt that it will be the ‘Encyclopedia of Telemedicine.’ ”The authors create the feeling in the reader that telemedicine is not simply an enabling technology, but more of an umbilical cord of health information exchange."
     Jay Sanders, MD
     Global Telemedicine Group



“Brilliant scholarship and extraordinarily insightful! A treasure trove of useful information gleaned from a vast array of primary source materials and priceless accurate recollections. In their second important book on telemedicine in the past decade, Bashshur and Shannon demonstrate, once again, why the in-depth study of technology matters. Their accounts of events, both long past and recent, will help diverse workers in the telemedicine field, chart action plans for their own programs. And they can do so, confident that the intellectual foundations for the field of telemedicine are rock solid.

Bashshur and Shannon are a remarkable pair of multi-dimensional co-authors who display a special talent for understanding and explaining the complex interrelationships between people, events, policy, and technology. The reader will marvel at their richness of the ideas as well as the scope of the innovations of generations of telemedicine pioneers. And, careful study of the text will help workers in the field avoid ‘their own reinventions of the wheel’, often a hazard confronting workers in a technology-driven field.

For decades, Bashshur has been the greatest thinker and theoretician in the telemedicine field. He literally wrote the rules for telemedicine scholarship and clearly followed them himself in the book that he, and his very capable co-author Gary Shannon, so meticulously crafted.”

There is little doubt that Bashshur and Shannons’ comprehensive History of Telemedicine will further elevate the stature of the field of telemedicine, worldwide. The book will top many short lists of must-read books on telemedicine for years to come.”
      Ronald S. Weinstein, MD
      Arizona Telemedicine Program

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