The study of telemedicine from a social perspective The term telemedicine refers to the application of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the health care sector. It is used both to describe the telecommunication systems which allow practitioners to work together in time
and space and, more broadly, the use of ICT in health care activities. Although the use of ICTs in the health industry is hardly a new phenomenon, the technological innovations of the last decade produced a significant increase in their adoption and utilization. While such phenomenon has attracted the interest of both the technologists and health professionals, it has gone almost completely unnoticed within the social science community. The present paper constitutes a first attempt to fill this gap. On the basis of a two year research programme, it focuses on some of the continuities which, within the so called new economy, connect ICTs and everyday health care practices. The paper discusses the reciprocal interactions
between technology and health activities, emphasising that telemedicine constitutes a significant occasion for the renegotiation of professional identities and boundaries. It also explores some of the implications that this may have for the organization of health care systems and their future changes.