With the interrelated fields of mobile health, digital health, health IT, telemedicine all constantly changing with new developments, it’s sometimes difficult to pin down a definition for these terms. In much of the healthcare industry, the terms “Telehealth” and “Telemedicine” are often used interchangeably. In fact, even the ATA considers them to be interchangeable terms. This isn’t surprising since the telehealth and telemedicine definitions encompass very similar services, including: medical education, e-health patient monitoring, patient consultation via video conferencing, health wireless applications, transmission of image medical reports, and many more.
However, if you want to get technical, Telemedicine is really a subset of Telehealth. Whereas Telehealth is a broad term that includes all health services provided using telecommunications technology, Telemedicine refers specifically to clinical services. There’s how the California Telehealth Resource Center defines telehealth:
“Telehealth is a collection of means or methods for enhancing health care, public health, and health education delivery and support using telecommunications technologies.”
In 2014, the Department of Health & Human Services sought to clarify two concepts in a HealthIT.gov post:
“Telehealth is different from Telemedicine because it addresses a broader range of telemedicine services. Telemedicine refers to remote clinical services, whereas Telehealth refers to both clinical and non-clinical services. Remote sessions, such as meetings, ongoing training. “
“Telemedicine” refers to traditional clinical diagnosis and screening provided by technology, and “Telehealth” describes many types of diagnosis and management, education and other related health sector.
As such, Telehealth may be involved in more general health care services, such as public health services, while Telemedicine is a specific type of telehealth involving a clinician that provides certain types of health services.
Here are some quick examples:
- A public health app that alerts the public of a disease outbreak
- A video-conferencing platform for medical education
- A mobile app that lets physicians treat their patients remotely via video-chat
- A software solution that lets primary care providers send patient photos of a rash or mole to a dermatologist at another location for quick diagnosis
- As the field of telehealth continues to expand and change, these terms are likely to change and encompass even more health services.
Edited from: https://evisit.com/