Objective: This research uses the quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE) method to assess the QALE changes of rural residents before and after introducing telemedicine health services. Materials and Methods: Based on Taiwan's experiences of telemedicine provision over the period 1995-2004, this representative of a national sample is composed of 85 cases for people living in Penghu County, a remote area in Taiwan. Cases were evaluated using persons with life expectancy at birth from 85 to 0 years. Results: The provision of telemedicine health services increased rural population QALE by 2.91 quality-adjusted life years. Telemedicine provision does improve rural residents' health status. Relative to the index population living in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, the survival ratios of the population of concern >65 years decreased faster and were less than those of the index population >65 years by at least 7% and 3%, respectively, before and after introducing telemedicine health services. Conclusions: It appears that the needs for telemedicine health services increased along with the aging of our society in rural and underserved regions.
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