Telemedicine—the exchange of medical information using the internet or other information technology—allows physicians to quickly and directly transfer medical records, x-rays, and lab results from one site to another, consult with specialists and other doctors for second opinions, monitor a patient's vital signs from a distance, continue their medical education through distance learning and video conferences and, in some cases, communicate with patients without having them come into the office. While there are many reasons for patients to embrace this system, there are also a few potential problems.
Videoconferencing in the late 20th century was limited to the protocol (notably Cisco's SCCP implementation was an exception), but newer videophones often use SIP , which is often easier to set up in home networking environments.  It is a text-based protocol, incorporating many elements of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP).  is still used, but more commonly for business videoconferencing, while SIP is more commonly used in personal consumer videophones. A number of call-setup methods based on instant messaging protocols such as Skype also now provide video.