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Don't bet your life on telemedicine

A reader says that if any doctors think cheap consumer-grade bandwidth is a necessary component of their health care system, he doesn't want to fall into their clutches.


    Don't bet your life on telemedicine

    In response to the April 11 Perspectives column by Dr. David Charles, "Ushering in 'telemedicine'":

    Charles' column does not state why the merger between EchoStar Communications and DirecTV would be useful or how it would meet public need.

    Instead, I would expect that maintaining competition would lead to a better and more reliable product, for the systems as they now exist are not of professional reliability, nor will they meet medical emergency needs.

    I suspect Charles has listed once too often to a PR flack for EchoStar, from the tone of the pleading whine.

    I've used both of these systems, and my wife's company has one installed. The upload speed is atrocious, and sometimes the system for no apparent reason stops. This has been verified by BYTE columnist Jerry Pournelle.

    If any doctors think el cheapo consumer-grade bandwidth is a necessary component of their health care system, well, please don't let me fall into their clutches. I'd rather duct-tape my internal organs back into place and take the next Greyhound out to a real surgeon.

    John E. Bartley III
    Portland, Ore.



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