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"Science fiction writers, I am sorry to say, really do not know anything. We can't talk about science, because our knowledge of it is limited and unofficial, and usually our fiction is dreadful."
- Philip K. Dick

Telemedicine Apparatus  
  First reference to a device that allows physicians to examine or aid patients at a distance.  

Vashti lives in an age in which people live alone in a single room - the Machine serves all their needs. Direct experience is a thing of the past - when she faces it, she panics.

Vashti was seized with the terrors of direct experience. She shrank back into the room, and the wall closed up again.

"Kuno," she said, "I cannot come to see you. I am not well."

Immediately an enormous apparatus fell on to her out of the ceiling, a thermometer was automatically laid upon her heart. She lay powerless. Cool pads soothed her forehead. Kuno had telegraphed to her doctor.

So the human passions still blundered up and down in the Machine. Vashti drank the medicine that the doctor projected into her mouth, and the machinery retired into the ceiling.

From The Machine Stops, by E.M. Forster.
Published by Oxford and Cambridge Review in 1909
Additional resources -

This is a very early use of the idea of using some sort of machine to allow physicians to examine patients at a distance. The earliest efforts in telemedicine date from around 1905; telecardiology via telephone was demostrated by Willem Einthoven. Telestethoscopy using the telephone was tried in the 1920's.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Machine Stops
  More Ideas and Technology by E.M. Forster
  Tech news articles related to The Machine Stops
  Tech news articles related to works by E.M. Forster

Telemedicine Apparatus-related news articles:
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  - GiraffPlus Robot Helps Elderly At Home
  - The 'Internet Of Touch' For Telemedicine

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