Telehealth vs telemedicine is all about everything you need to know concerning health services rendered with the aid of technology.
This article on telehealth vs telemedicine is an essential piece for all that seek to know more about the massive adoption of information communication technology in the health sector.
However, this technological adoption has started for decades but the unavailability of facilitating technologies then served as limitations.
In recent times, the quest to know about telehealth vs telemedicine had increased spontaneously because of the hectic involved in visiting hospitals and clinics globally. Accordingly, many people are wondering about these words telehealth vs telemedicine and also telecare in some countries.
A frequent misunderstanding, we continue to hear relates to the difference between telehealth vs telemedicine and telecare, or lack thereof. In reality, each of these words refers to a different way of administering remote health care although some people see them as the same.
Introduction to telehealth vs telemedicine
Telehealth vs telemedicine is the major keyword used in referring to medical and health services rendered virtually. In this article on telehealth vs telemedicine, everything you need to know will be made comprehensible. The differences, similarities, and controversial views will be elaborated accordingly.
Telehealth in telehealth vs telemedicine
The word telehealth includes a broad range of information technologies and services to render patient care and improve the healthcare delivery system in general.
Telehealth is a wider scope of remote healthcare service deliveries. It is a subset of E-Health, which includes the delivery of health information, for health professionals and health consumers, education and training of health workers, and health systems management through the internet and information communication technology.
Referring to health information services, health care education, and health care services in a broad sense, the term telehealth comprises all.
Telehealth enables the remote diagnoses and evaluation of patients in addition to the ability to remote detection of fluctuations in the medical condition of the patient at home so that the medications or the specific therapy can be altered accordingly. It also allows for e-prescribe medications and remotely prescribed treatments.
According to FCC, telehealth is a wider variety of remote health care services beyond the doctor-patient relationship.” The Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) identifies four different telehealth modalities: 1) live video; 2) mobile health; 3) remote patient monitoring; and 4) store-and-forward
Telehealth involves the distribution of health-related services and information via electronic information and telecommunication technology platforms.
It covers a broad range of remote healthcare services to provide patient care and improve the general healthcare delivery system. It often refers to non-clinical services, such as providing training, administrative meetings, and continuing medical education.
The global telehealth market is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 28.6% to reach US$ 26.7 billion by 2025.
Types of telehealth
In this article telehealth vs telemedicine knowing the different types of telehealth will be of utmost importance. There are different modalities or types of telehealth which are listed below:
- Remote Patient Monitoring or RPM
- Synchronous Telehealth
- Store-and-Forward Telemedicine
- Mobile Health
Remote Patient Monitoring or RPM
This enables providers to record and monitor a patient’s health data remotely. It is a type of telehealth that uses technological devices to get vital signs needed to monitor a patient’s condition.
Remote patient monitoring technology shares patient medical data regularly with the patient’s care team. This technology transmits the information automatically, leading to active ongoing care monitoring in a more passive data collection process. If any problems with the patient arise, members of the care team can respond immediately. Telehealth vs telemedicine technology practically exists in these situations.
RPM is usually recommended for patients with chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma, and cardiovascular illnesses. An important advantage of RPM is that it provides frequent monitoring at less cost.
Synchronous interaction is the most well-known type of telehealth. It includes any video call or lives chat software that allows a healthcare provider to communicate with a patient in real-time, or live.
Consultation is conducted across distance using two-way, interactive software housed in desktop computers, laptops, tablets, or other mobile devices such as smartphones.
Store-and-forward telehealth involves specialized technology that allows a patient’s data to be collected, stored in a secure cloud-based platform, and later retrieved by another treating professional or staff, often in a different location.
Medical data, including images, test results, bio-signals, lab reports, and substantial documents can be acquired and transmitted (stored-and-forwarded) across great distances.
Appropriate releases are signed, experts vetted, and specific protocols developed. Collected data can include video-recorded intake interviews, medical images from x-rays or ultrasound scans, health history, or any other health parameter that can be measured.
Smart devices have been used for many specialized aspects of health care that benefit from continuous data collection about a person’s behavior or condition. This is equally important to be considered in telehealth vs telemedicine understanding.
Smartphones, tablets, smart wearables like iWatch can monitor a variety of factors such as pulse rate, heart rate, and with some, blood sugar levels or quality of expired air.
Applications are now available to encourage healthier lifestyles and behaviors by providing heart-rate variability scores, sleep cycles, movement tracking, weight changes, dietary tracking and much more.
Benefits of Telehealth
The benefits of telehealth can never be over-emphasized in this article on telehealth vs telemedicine.
Below are some of the benefits of telehealth:
- Decrease wait time
- Prevention of diseases contracted from hospital visit
- Secured way of health care rendering
Telemedicine in telehealth vs telemedicine
Recognizing that there is no one definitive definition of telemedicine a 2007 study found 104 peer-reviewed definitions of the word the World Health Organization has adopted the following broad description.
The delivery of health care services, where distance is a critical factor, by all health care professionals using information and communication technologies for the exchange of valid information for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and injuries, research and evaluation, and for the continuing education of health care providers, all in the interests of advancing the health of individuals and their communities.
The many definitions highlight that telemedicine is an open and constantly evolving science, as it incorporates new advancements in technology and responds and adapts to the changing health needs and contexts of societies.
Benefits of telemedicine
- No risk of contracting a new illness
- Less Time in the Waiting Room
- No distance barrier
- Rendered from the comfort of your home
- Eliminate child or eldercare issues
- On-demand options
- Access to Specialists
- Better Health
What led to telemedicine?
Telemedicine, a term coined in the 1970s, which literally means “healing at a distance” signifies the use of ICT to improve patient outcomes by increasing access to care and medical information.
In this article of telehealth vs telemedicine, there are four unique factors that facilitate the adoption of telemedicine which are:
- Provision of clinical support
- Bypassing geographical barriers
- Information communication technology
- Its goal is to improve health outcomes
Telehealth vs telemedicine the controversy
This is our cardinal focus in this article, to understand what each of these terms stands for. We are confident that from what you have read you have gotten a better insight about the two terms telehealth vs telemedicine.
In recent times telehealth was considered different from telemedicine because it comes from a broader scope of health service delivery. However, the adoption of telemedicine has gone beyond what it used to be. Telehealth vs telemedicine can be used synonymously and both convey the same information in the health care system and the medical world because there is no limitation in telemedicine compared to telehealth because of technological advancement.
The benefits of telehealth vs telemedicine both have the same advantages in the health system which primarily is to overcome distance barriers and improve the general health system and medical service accessibility.
Telecare in telehealth vs telemedicine
Telecare is another term used by some people to refer to telehealth or telemedicine however there is a significant difference between telecare and telehealth although telecare falls under telehealth.
Unlike telehealth and telemedicine, it is continuous and automatic. Telecare practices monitor patients and minimize risks while allowing them to continue living in their own homes.
Telecare is facilitated by smart devices usually programmed for a specific medical service like evaluation, monitoring, and signaling.