An incremental cost analysis of telehealth in Nova Scotia from a societal perspective

D David Persaud, Steve Jreige, Chris Skedgel, John Finley, Joan Sargeant, Neil Hanlon

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41 Citations (Scopus)


We examined the costs of telehealth in Nova Scotia from a societal perspective. The clinical outcomes of telepsychiatry and teledermatology services were assumed to be similar to those for conventional face-to-face consultations. Cost information was obtained from the Nova Scotia Department of Health, the Canadian Institute for Health Information, and questionnaires to patients, physicians and telehealth coordinators. There were 215 questionnaires completed by patients, 135 by specialist physicians and eight by telehealth coordinators. Patient costs for a face-to-face consultation ranged from $240 to $1048 (all costs in Canadian dollars), whereas patient costs for telehealth were lower, from $17 to $70. However, from a societal perspective, the overall cost of providing face-to-face services was lower than for telehealth: the total costs for face-to-face services ranged from $325 to $1133, while the total costs for telehealth services ranged from $1736 to $28,084. A threshold analysis showed that, above a certain patient workload, telehealth services would be more cost-effective than face-to-face services from a societal perspective. This workload is attainable in Nova Scotia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-84
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Telemedicine and Telecare
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2005


  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Dermatology
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • Nova Scotia
  • Psychiatry
  • Telemedicine

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