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Difference between telehealth and telemedicine

The number of COVID-19 cases has caused a sharp increase in technological dependence. To socially distancing itself, more and more people are turning to online consultations. The number of persons in need of medical attention has increased, but so has the number of people who are unable to seek an in-person consultation because of social distancing standard operating procedures. 

Patients can receive aid from the comfort of their homes with the support of telehealth and telemedicine. Which begs the question: What distinguishes telemedicine from telehealth? 

What Distinguishes Telemedicine From Telehealth?

Telehealth vs Telemedicine are distinct from one another because telehealth encompasses a wider range of virtual patient care. Voice and video conferencing software, the internet, and digital communications devices are all used in telehealth to transfer data over the cloud. Telehealth is described as “the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies for public health, patient and professional health-related education, and long-distance clinical healthcare. One can utilize telehealth for:

  • Deliver clinical patient care. 
  • Educate patients about their medical conditions. 
  • Offer mental health care services. 
  • Provide training to healthcare professionals 
  • Set up meetings about government healthcare or administrative matters. 
  • Plus much more

Patient care is one particular kind of online video conferencing software delivery approach that is referred to as telemedicine. Telemedicine is used when you call a doctor on your smartphone. The practice of medicine uses technology to provide care at a distance, over a telecommunications infrastructure, between a patient and a physician.

Recognizing The Practical Differences Between Telemedicine And Telehealth

The first thing to know about the distinctions between Telehealth vs Telemedicine is that there are four primary usage categories for the technology. As an example:

1-Live Telemedicine Visits

A live telemedicine visit consists of a virtual, two-way, real-time online conversation between a patient and their physician. These exchanges can be just as productive as the customary in-office visit. Currently, 75% of medical professionals treat patients via telemedicine, and they also use it to coordinate care among many doctors for complex chronic situations or to obtain optional second views.

2-Asynchronous Video Telehealth

One form of telehealth that transmits patient data to a healthcare provider is asynchronous video. Since asynchronous video transmits and stores non-real-time data via the internet, it is also known as store-and-forward video. This is frequently used in rural areas when healthcare professionals consult with experts from other areas. Asynchronous video is quite helpful because a shortage of doctors affects many rural communities.

3-Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) Within Telehealth

Within telehealth, remote patient monitoring (RPM) is a distinct category. RPM keeps an eye on a patient at home with the assistance of remote sensing equipment. For evaluation, this information is returned to a hospital or other kind of clinical practitioner. With remote patient monitoring (RPM), chronically sick patients can be effectively managed and kept out of the hospital. Even in senior living communities, RPM telehealth technology is useful for keeping an eye on people who may fall.

4-Mobile Health Apps

One form of telehealth that’s frequently available through a smartphone app is mobile health. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of apps available for mobile health. Your blood sugar can now be tracked using an app. Additionally, you can monitor your progress toward a healthy lifestyle and preventative healthcare. The newest apps can do far more than just monitor your heartbeat for potentially severe arrhythmia symptoms. 

Let’s examine the uses and advantages of Telehealth vs Telemedicine now that you are more aware of their distinctions. What makes a telemedicine visit preferable to a waiting room visit with a doctor? In what ways are applications for telehealth transforming patient care?

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Telehealth And Telemedicine: Benefits For Patients And Providers

Applications in Telehealth vs Telemedicine assist patients and healthcare providers in many ways. Better treatment and convenience are offered by these technologies, especially to patients with long-term conditions. Furthermore, telehealth lowers costs, improves access to care, and addresses the inequities in healthcare that affect people living in rural locations. 

Convenience And Better Care Monitoring

By allowing clinical teams to remotely monitor patients, telehealth technologies expand the safety net of better health. Keeping a tight eye on their patients allows doctors to manage chronic conditions more effectively. Using video conferencing, remote sensor devices, and the internet, patients can easily provide health data, including symptoms and vital signs, to medical specialists. For example: 

  • Peak flow meter and pulse oximeter measurements can be recorded and transmitted by asthma sufferers using mobile health apps and remote patient monitoring (RPM). 
  • Diabetes patients can improve their overall care by scheduling routine online consultations with nutrition counselors to talk about diet, exercise, and blood sugar levels.

Healthcare Accessibility

Access to healthcare services is greatly improved via telemedicine, especially for those who live in rural areas where there may not be as many healthcare professionals. Patients can easily use their smartphones to communicate with clinicians via telemedicine from any location. Due to its convenience, patients and physicians are less likely to skip appointments. Virtual visits also reduce the need for patients to travel great distances, which makes preventative care more accessible. Notably, telemedicine is an affordable and useful solution because of the huge percentage of adults who own telephones.

Cut Costs

For patients, telemedicine offers significant cost reductions. A virtual visit with an Internet clinician is usually less expensive than an ER visit or an in-person consultation. Patients can save money on travel-related expenses like lodging and lost productivity by using telemedicine. Reducing financial pressures through remote access to healthcare makes it more affordable and accessible for people and families.

Is It Possible To Utilize Telehealth And Telemedicine Interchangeably? 

In essence, there isn’t a hard and fast rule that prevents you from using them interchangeably. In reality, if you’re talking about the business as a whole, you may use the term “telehealth” to refer to “telemedicine,” but not the other way around. The phrase “telemedicine” does not have the same broad definition as “telehealth.” It only pertains to the exchange between the patient and the physician. 

The rising use of specificity in research, medical journals, and interviews—where employing precise, in-depth language is excellent practice—is partly responsible for this trend. When someone refers to a particular virtual care service or provider-patient interaction as “telehealth,” for instance, they may also be referring to any technology or communication that comes within that category.

It makes it clear that the information or circumstance they’re referring to is a patient-provider exchange simply by replacing it with “telemedicine.” removing additional virtual care exchanges and interactions. 

In Summary 

It’s common to use the terms “Telehealth and Telemedicine” interchangeably. Any medical exchange between two people that makes use of software and telecommunications technology is referred to as telehealth. A subset of telehealth known as telemedicine focuses on providing clinical care to patients using telecommunication technology platforms and software from a healthcare professional who is located in a separate physical location. During the pandemic, patients embraced telemedicine, and to increase patient remote access and care management.



What advantages can telemedicine and telehealth offer? 

Several benefits are provided by Telehealth and  Telemedicine, including better patient convenience, decreased travel expenses, enhanced access to healthcare services for underserved or remote populations, and possible productivity increases for healthcare providers.

Is the usage of telemedicine and telehealth widespread? 

The COVID-19 epidemic and technological improvements have contributed to a notable surge in the use of telehealth and telemedicine in recent years. Patients are accepting remote healthcare options more and more, and telehealth services are being provided by numerous healthcare organizations and providers.

Which technologies are employed in telemedicine and telehealth? 

To enable remote healthcare delivery, telehealth and telemedicine both rely on a variety of technologies. Electronic health records (EHRs), mobile health apps, video conferencing platforms, remote monitoring tools, and secure communication tools are some examples of these technologies.

What are the key distinctions between in-person and telehealth care? 

Through the use of digital platforms, telehealth eliminates the need for in-person encounters. In-person interactions between patients and medical personnel are essential for providing in-person care.