Sep 23, 2021

Telehealth vs Telemedicine - Does Telehealth Include Telemedicine?

telehealth

The concept of combining technology with healthcare can become confusing for the general public due to the technicalities. However, integration has become very popular in the world, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic which urged people to stay indoors and maintain social distance. The innovations in telehealth services have lifted the patient and doctor experience throughout the treatment. Hospitals and clinics all over the world have opted for the latest technologies. This integration mechanism has been termed “telematics”. It includes telemedicine, telehealth, or any health-related activity carried out over distance employing information communication technologies.

Telemedicine

It can be defined as a process that includes the exercise of medicine using communication or information technology to deliver remote care. It requires electronic communications to facilitate patients as well as assist doctors to closely monitor the patient, removing the need for an in-person visit to the doctor.

This phenomenon has shown a drastic rise during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. People around the world have adapted telemedicine and its offerings. The visits for post-treatment visits, care, medication management, consultation, and management of chronic diseases can be eliminated through telemedicine as it can be provided remotely.

Healthcare all around the globe is changing very much with the help of technology and innovation. Telemedicine has allowed high-quality healthcare to rural and remote areas. It offers access to specialists, reduces costs, and supports primary care clinicians. Its adaptation has helped humans tackle the current Covid-19 pandemic more efficiently. It helps deliver healthcare to people far away from where basic healthcare providers are unable to deploy the treatments.

It can be used for public healthcare emergencies as well as the management of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart complications, etc. It also educates the infected and non-infected people about the illness. Some other benefits include the use of videoconferencing to diagnose, treat diseases or injuries, cross-sharing of medical reports such as test results, ultrasounds, blood results, etc.

Telehealth

It can be referred to as a subset of e-health that covers a broader scope of integration of electronic and telecommunications technologies with healthcare services. You can say that telemedicine is an extension of telehealth.

The main difference between telemedicine and telehealth is that the former refers to remote clinical areas whereas the latter also covers remote non-clinical services such as service provider training, administrative meetings, medical education, etc.

In case of medical emergencies, telehealth is the way to provide medical consultation or assessment more efficiently. Patients who undergo surgeries can be in touch with regular updates, post-surgery counseling, or training. Other than that, it allows access to primary care including chronic health conditions, medication management, weight management, nutrition counseling, etc.

When an in-person visit is not doable, especially in Covid-19, remote access to basic healthcare services can be used as an effective tool for both clinicians and patients.

Despite the differences in telemedicine and telehealth, both are there to boost the goal of making healthcare accessible to remote areas, making health management more efficient for patients, and improving the overall healthcare system.

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