Columbia University's informatics for diabetes education and telemedicine (IDEATel) project: Technical implementation

Justin Starren, George Hripcsak, Soumitra Sengupta, C. R. Abbruscato, Paul E. Knudson, Ruth S. Weinstock, Steven Shea*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


The Columbia University Informatics for Diabetes Education and Telemedicine IDEATel) project is a four-year demonstration project funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services with the overall goal of evaluating the feasibility, acceptability, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of telemedicine. The focal point of the intervention is the home telemedicine unit (HTU), which provides four functions: synchronous videoconferencing over standard telephone lines, electronic transmission for fingerstick glucose and blood pressure readings, secure Web-based messaging and clinical data review, and access to Web-based educational materials. The HTU must be usable by elderly patients with no prior computer experience. Providing these functions through the HTU requires tight integration of six components: the HTU itself, case management software, a clinical information system, Web-based educational material, data security, and networking and telecommunications. These six components were integrated through a variety of interfaces, providing a system that works well for patients and providers. With more than 400 HTUs installed, IDEATel has demonstrated the feasibility of large-scale home telemedicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-36
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics

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