Often the terms telemedicine and telehealth are mistakenly used interchangeably. Today, we thought we would take some time to give an easy overview of the two to help clear up some confusion and allow you to more easily traverse these often confused terms.
Telemedicine is traditionally used as a term for provider to patient opportunities in a conventional sense. It is the most commonly referenced and most widely used term for consumers. In short, it’s the act of being provided medical attention or care via technology from afar. It can include things like evaluation for surgery or possibly scripting for medication.
Telehealth is a broader term that encompasses telemedicine. Telehealth is the technology or channels utilized to provide telemedicine along the continuum of care offering the opportunity for nontraditional providers and services to be offered remotely for the patient. This can include remote patient monitoring, AI-driven diagnosis or quality measures, wearables, televisits (via phone, text or video), e-ICU and even surveys and assessment apps.
Increasingly social determinants of health as well as conventional health are both recognized as contributing to overall wellness. In the last year alone, we have seen great expansions in both the availability and the acceptance of both in the healthcare space. Patients and providers were forced by necessity into accepting the use of telemedine in rapid time during the pandemic, and companies in the telehealth space rose to the occasion by developing technologies to serve the masses.
2021 and 2022 are showing amazing advances in both of these areas and we look forward to watching and learning more. What is your favorite application of either telemedicine or telehealth?