Wed, 19 Jun, 2024


Telehealth VS. Telemedicine


By Richa Rajendra

Img src: tigerconnect

Since the start of the epidemic, the medical business has changed at a rapid speed, with healthcare providers and professionals trying to enhance access to patient care. Fortunately, telehealth and telemedicine have made communication and cooperation with their patients easier for medical professionals, thereby removing the barriers that sometimes impede their access to medical treatment. And while telehealth and telemedicine are two of the most common phrases in the health sector, many don't know that both terms cannot be used on an interchangeable basis. These are two distinct components of remote healthcare.

What is telehealth?
The term telehealth refers in a wide sense to health information services, medical education, and health care. In fact, telecare and telemedicine are commonly grouped under the umbrella term telehealth. Telehealth services include health education, remote monitoring of vital signs, ECGs, and blood pressure. Telehealth technology allows for remote diagnosis and evaluation of patients, as well as remote detection of fluctuations in the patient's medical status, allowing drugs or particular treatments to be adjusted accordingly. It also allows to e-prescribe medications and remotely prescribed treatments. Here are some common ways to provide telehealth:

1.Mobile health - Mobile health is also known as mHealth, and is used largely for providing health information on mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. Mobile health has increased dramatically in recent years by consulting health apps on its mobile devices with the emergence of patient portals and apps. A pre-op instruction written to a patient for an operation provides an example of this type of telehealth service.

2. Video consultations and conferences: Since the end of 2019, video conferences and consultations have risen rapidly. In real-time, two-way interactions between patients and the medical services-supporting professionals refer to video consultations. Today, there are several platforms like Zoom that enable safe care coordination and consultation while providing access to healthcare records in a single space for providers. A specialist examining a patient through a live video feed is a perfect example of this type of telehealth service. A remote training session broadcasting from a university medical facility for doctors in a provider facility may be another example.

3. Remote Health Monitoring (RHM) or Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM): Using information technology, remote patient monitoring gathers and transmits patient data to providers from the patient's location, which is often outside of traditional healthcare settings. Medical information such as blood pressure, blood glucose and blood oxygen levels can be included in the data collected.

What is telemedicine?
The scope of this word is less than telehealth. In particular, it refers to distant learning and the provision of health services by using telecommunications technology. Telemedicine refers to the use in the provision of remote medical services to patients of information technologies and electronic communications. Examples of telecommunications are the digital transmission of medical imagery, remote medical diagnosis, and assessment, as well as video consultations with experts.
1.    Remote video conference to enhance diagnostic, therapy, and disease or injury prevention.
2.    Remote monitoring and support of a patient’s medical condition after therapy or surgery.
3.    Post-op transmission of vitals such as blood pressure data, ECG, and blood sugar levels.
4.    Remote video conference consultation with a medical specialist and coordination of care over platforms like Zoom.
5.    Over services like Zoom, you can have a remote video conference consultation with a medical practitioner and coordinate care.
6.    A chronic ailment can be managed remotely.

What’s the difference?
1.Telemedicine does not always entail video conferencing. Because it is non-clinical, a video conference between a health specialist and his medical students is telehealth. A video consultation between a patient and a doctor, on the other hand, would be classified as telemedicine because it involves a clinical interaction that aids in the provision of care.
2.Telemedicine does not encompass all asynchronous medical treatments. Telehealth, for example, is an academic publication meant for educational reasons, whereas Telemedicine is the digital sharing of a patient's MRI scan.
3.Not all mobile health services are Telemedicine. For example, A community health update or warning would be considered Telehealth, but providing instructions to patients for post-op follow-up would be called Telemedicine.

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