Telehealth is different from telemedicine in that it refers to a broader scope of remote health care services than telemedicine. Telemedicine refers specifically to remote clinical services, while telehealth can refer to remote non-clinical services.
Telemedicine is a subset of telehealth that refers solely to the provision of health care services and education over a distance, through the use of telecommunications technology.
In short, all telemedicine is telehealth, but not all telehealth is telemedicine.
There are three main types of Telemedicine, which include store-and-forward, remote monitoring and real-time interactive services. Each of these has a beneficial role to play in overall health care and, when utilized properly, can offer tangible benefits for both healthcare workers and patients.
Telehealth offers more than just a phone call; it is a resource for both patients and their families. With training, experienced nurses can take on telehealth roles confidently to provide safe and quality care to individuals through a variety of technologies.
A Telehealth visit allows you to talk with your doctor over the phone instead of visiting a medical facility. Medicare will cover telehealth visits with doctors, nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists and licensed clinical social workers.
Remote analysis and monitoring services and electronic data storage significantly helps reduce healthcare service costs, saving money for you and insurance companies. Telemedicine also reduces unnecessary non-urgent ER visits and eliminates transportation expenses for regular check ups. Other benefits include:
Some research suggests that people who use telemedicine spend less time in the hospital, providing cost savings. Also, less commuting time may mean fewer secondary expenses, such as childcare and gas.
Improved access to care
Telemedicine makes it easier for people with disabilities to access care. It can also improve access for other populations, including older adults, people who are geographically isolated and those who are incarcerated.
Telemedicine may make it easier for people to access preventive care that improves their long-term health. This is especially true for people with financial or geographic barriers to quality care. For instance, a 2012 study of people with coronary artery disease found that preventive telemedicine improved health outcomes.
Telemedicine allows people to access care in the comfort and privacy of their own home. This may mean that a person does not have to take time off of work or arrange childcare.
Slowing the spread of infection
Going to the doctor’s office means being around people who may be sick, often in close quarters. This can be particularly dangerous for people with underlying conditions or weak immune systems.
Telemedicine eliminates the risk of picking up an infection at the doctor’s office.
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