Telemedicine is a recollection of frustration that someday will become a reality.

The Far East is the world's fastest growing region in both economic wealth and population. For major American medical centers to establish exchange programs with Asian counter-parts would be beneficial to tens of millions of people both here and abroad.

Transmission of detailed medical expertise via satellite or submarine fiber optic cable is the key in joining distant countries. Images like x-ray are now crystal clear, doctor-to-doctor consultations with or without the presence of the patient are practical. Even on-camera assistance in operating procedures is possible.

For reasons I don't quite understand, telemedicine has been of interest to me for years. I'm not qualified in medicine nor in communications. My contribution, if any, would be to assist American medical centers in finding Asian partners. Government endorsement is required. It is not a doctor-to-doctor negotiation as in the United States.

In the past, I've been retained by the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and the Mayo Clinic and have had detailed discussions with other outstanding medical centers in the United States. All agree an ongoing medical exchange with Asian countries is desirable. Also, they say let's not get involved too soon. This is something we'll do in the future.

As I say, telemedicine has been a frustration.