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Telemedicine vs Telehealth – Whats the Difference?

Telemedicine-vs-telehealth

If you haven’t been paying attention, there is a pandemic that is hitting the whole world.

This pandemic not only necessitates  the need for people to take better care of themselves, it has exponentially brought to the spotlight the need for telemedicine and telehealth.

Vendors, advocacy groups, and policymakers alike often consistently utilize technical terms and throw out broad and imprecise language.

It is such an undeniable fact.

Although the terms telehealth and telemedicine are interchangeably used from time to time, there is a rather clear difference and distinction between the two.

Telehealth

Telehealth is a term that constitutes a wide range of services and technologies that improves the health care delivery system as a whole and consistently offer patient care.

What sets aside telehealth from telemedicine is that this term refers to a wider and broader scope of services for healthcare providers in comparison to telemedicine.

While telemedicine refers to remote clinical services specifically, telehealth can touch on the remote non-clinical services in addition to clinical services.

These non-clinical services include providing administrative meetings, conducting training, and continuing medical education.

Telehealth refers to health promotions, surveillance, and public health functions, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Moreover, telehealth is a branch of E-Health that constitutes delivery of health information, both for health consumers and health professionals, health system management, and training of health workers via telecommunications and the internet.

Telemedicine

A lot of people have continued to look for the definition of telemedicine.

So what exactly constitutes this term?

Telemedicine is one of the subsets of telehealth.

It refers to the conduction and provision of education and services of healthcare through maximizing the utilization of telecommunications technology.

Telemedicine technology allows operations over a distance.

It also involves providing clinical services to clients and patients without having to conduct an in-person visitation through the use of electronic software and electronic communications.

Telemedicine is most often used for managing chronic conditions, follow up visitations, managing medications, consultation of specialists, and hosting other clinical services that are possible to be provided remotely through audio connections and secure sessions and videos.

One should also note that the term “telematics” is also used by World Health organizations (WHO), another term thrown into the mix.

According to the organization, the said term in health is the compound and blended term for both telehealth and telemedicine.

But it’s not limited to both of them alone.

The term “telematics” also refers to activities that are health-related and are carried out remotely through the means of communication and information technologies.

To make things as simple as possible, all telemedicine is part of telehealth, but not all telehealth can be telemedicine.

Both of these terms are part of the larger goal to widen access to healthcare, making it easier for professionals to manage patients, and efficiently improve the delivery network for healthcare.

Do your due diligence to find companies that have a specialization in creating software that are designed to ensure provider reimbursement and support telemedicine for practitioners and doctors.

About the author

Katie Brownley

Health & IT Journalist covering Cybersecurity News, Data Breaches and Security Industry News. Email is open for DM and News Tips are Welcome

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