Back to top

Telemedicine & Mobile Apps

Back to top

New Technology and Future Challenges

Telemedicine technology has the potential to transform health care delivery and address many care coordination challenges facing the U.S. health care system. It can facilitate remote, mobile and site-to-site medical care.

Telemedicine, a key innovation in support of health care delivery reform, is being used in initiatives to improve access to care, care coordination and quality and when properly used has the potential to reduce the rate of growth in health care spending.


The definition of telemedicine, as well as telehealth, has continued to evolve, and there is no consensus on the definition of either of the 2 terms. Today, there are 3 broad categories of telemedicine technologies:

  1. Store-and-forward
  2. Remote monitoring
  3. (Real-time) interactive services

Working with physicians, legislators and others, the AMA is leading the charge to help ensure that the policies physicians must follow to utilize telemedicine encourages the adoption of telemedicine while protecting patient safety and providing high-quality medical care.

Physician Tools and Resources

Innovation Acceleration and Opportunities

The AMA is the founding partner of an integrated health care innovation company—Health2047. The Silicon Valley innovation studio will draw upon the AMA’s deep subject matter expertise and unique relationship with physicians nationwide to develop new products, tools and resources that improve the practice of medicine and the delivery of health care to patients.

As part of a partnership with Chicago technology incubator MATTER, the AMA has a dedicated space within MATTER that gives physicians the space to directly connect with entrepreneurs at the very point of “idea conception” to develop new medical technologies, services and products that also better serve physicians and patients.

Mobile Health

Mobile applications are helping individuals track their exercise, nutrition and sleep habits. Some apps even allow patients to message their doctors, make appointments and refill their prescriptions. Clinicians are also using remote monitoring apps to track major patient health events, increase patient compliance with treatment and improve patient care collaboration.

The AMA is working with industry leaders and government stakeholders to ensure mobile apps and services are not only safe and effective, but also support the needs of both physicians and patients.

State Advocacy Tools

The AMA has initiated a multipronged campaign that provides advocacy materials focused on various telemedicine issues including physician licensure, insurance coverage of telemedicine, and practice issues such as establishment of the patient-physician relationship.  

Interstate Medical Licensure

Physicians who treat patients via telemedicine in multiple states must have a medical license from each state. That process will be easier now that the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact is in effect. The Compact will facilitate a speedier process with fewer administrative burdens for physicians seeking licensure in multiple states.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact Kristin Schleiter, JD, Senior Legislative Attorney at [email protected].

Available resources include:

  • AMA Telemedicine Policy
  • Issue Brief: Coverage of and Payment for Telemedicine Services 
  • Model State Legislation for Physician Payment, Licensure and Telemedicine
  • Interstate Medical Licensure Compact
  • Issue Brief: Interstate Medical Licensure Compact
Email this page