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Telehealth Increases Access to Care in South Carolina

A project from the South Carolina Telehealth Alliance

Due to combined efforts, South Carolina is now on the edge of a new frontier in health care. Telehealth offers new ways of delivering care through the use of video and audio technologies.

What is Telehealth?  Telehealth is the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration.

Latest Telehealth News

What is the South Carolina Telehealth Alliance and My Telehealth?

Through the human stories of patients, families, clinicians and others, SCETV, in collaboration with the South Carolina Telehealth Alliance, will carefully dissect the complexities of Telehealth.  

The goal of each story is to elevate public understanding and knowledge of Telehealth and its diverse services in South Carolina. 

The clinical opportunities within Telehealth provide many positive impacts that include better health outcomes, more immediate treatments, economic benefits and access to specialized care and consultation.  


Submit your Telehealth story using the hashtag #mytelehealth.

  • 1924

    Dr. Hugo Gernsback envisions the "teledactyl," a tool with robotic fingers and a way to project video to examine the patient from afar

  • 1950s


    Medical personnel start doing experiments with close-circuit TV

  • 1959-1964

    First interactive video link created at Nebraska Psychiatric Institute and Norfolk State Hospital

  • 1960s


    NASA begins researching ways to provide healthcare to astronauts & improve telecommunications technology

  • 1967

    First telehealth system created, connected paraprofessionals to physician-patient encounters

  • 1970s

    More advanced forms of telehealth (called "telemedicine") used in medical field; "Golden Age" of telemedicine research and expansion in the U.S.

  • 1974

    NASA teams up with SCI Systems of Houston to study how to use video for telemedicine

  • 1989

    web browser

    First international telemedicine project; Invention of World Wide Web expands capabilities of telemedicine

  • June 25 1989

    Jewish Hospital of St. Louis performs first successful defibrillation of patient via telephone

  • 1993

    american telemedicine association logo

    Non-profit American Telemedicine Association (ATA) created to push for better resources, standards and legislation for telemedicine

  • 1999

    Medicare begins paying for telehealth consultations for people who live in underserved rural areas

  • 2000s


    Video-chat programs like Skype become popular

  • 2001

    In October, the Benefits Improvement Protection Act (BIPA) expands/ provides annual update to telehealth services

  • 2007

    mental health professional

    The South Carolina Department of Mental Health's receives a grant from The Duke Endowment to develop a statewide telepsychiatry network for all SC hospitals operating emergency departments (EDs)

  • 2010s

    Rapid expansion in U.S. telemedicine in an effort to cut down on the cost of healthcare and provide more convenient care for patients

  • 2013

    south carolina telehealth alliance logo

    In August, the South Carolina Telehealth Alliance is formed

  • 2015

    2/3 of Americans own smartphones, are able to research medical info, access health tools & services

  • 2016

    telestroke technology

    96% of South Carolina residents now live within an hour drive of expert stroke care due to Telestroke technology

  • 2020

    Telemedicine is expected to be a $34 billion industry & an important part of modern healthcare delivery


The South Carolina Telehealth Alliance is an unprecedented collaboration of academic medical centers, community hospitals and providers, existing telemedicine systems, government leaders and other entities that believe that all South Carolina residents should and can have access to quality health care, while effectively managing the cost of providing care.