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As the world becomes more technology-oriented, the way we receive healthcare is changing. In particular, telemedicine and telehealth visits are becoming more popular to receive care.
So, what’s the difference between telemedicine and telehealth? Are they the same thing? The short answer: no. In this article, we’ll discuss the significant differences between the two terms so that you know the difference between telemedicine and telehealth.
The History Behind Telehealth And Telemedicine
The expectation in IT Healthcare will exceed 192,639 million in revenue by 2026. However, telehealth dates back to the early 18th century, when physicians had initially discussed using the telephone to reduce the number of office visits and diagnose patients through radios.
While the industry has developed into the digital landscape we know today, it has been tremendously impacted by COVID-19. During the pandemic, health systems and providers utilize every technology to manage the surge of patients while ensuring that safety is at the forefront of their minds. For example, the idea of Televisits or using the camera on your phone to connect with your doctor has been a popular way to reduce the amount of in-office visits for non-emergency issues.
What Is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine is the use of technology to deliver healthcare services from a distance. This method can include live video conferencing, phone calls, secure text messaging, and email. In addition, telemedicine helps to ensure that patients can be monitored by clinicians through digital devices while eliminating the need to visit in person to have the same diagnosis.
As the healthcare system evolves, telemedicine becomes an increasingly important part of the healthcare landscape. It can help to protect others from spreading sickness by eliminating the need to visit in person. Still, it allows even the most rural and remote areas to access medical care that would otherwise have no other options.
Plus, when faced with public health issues, such as COVID-19, it makes it easy for healthcare providers to help patients with essential services that healthcare centers and hospitals can no longer take on due to the high number of cases. In addition, telemedicine makes it easy to share medical advice and diagnosis with non-infected and infected people, allowing doctors to treat everything from chronic conditions to public health emergencies.
What Is Telehealth?
On the other hand, telehealth is a term to describe a broad range of remote health services, including mental health, primary care, specialty care, and even long-term care. In addition, it’s important to note that telehealth does not always require the use of technology, as it can also deliver through telephone or video consultations.
Telehealth can describe the delivery of services to patients in rural and under served areas, such as mental health sessions or education for medical professionals. In addition, telehealth can effectively improve chronic disease management, increase medication adherence rates, and even reduce hospital re-admissions.
In case of emergencies, telehealth can help medical professionals assess the situation without the patient having to leave their home. This service is significant during a pandemic when hospitals are overwhelmed with patients and staff cannot manage the influx of new cases as it ensures that the issue is severe enough to warrant an in-person medical professional visit.
The Big Differences Between Telehealth and Telemedicine
If you’re still a little confused about the difference between telehealth and telemedicine, Digital Authority Partners says that it’s important to remember that telemedicine is a specialized branch of telehealth.
Telemedicine uses technology to deliver healthcare services from a distance, while telehealth is a term to describe a broad range of remote health services.
With Telemedicine, You Can Expect:
Using Video Platforms To Diagnose, Facilitate, Treat And Prevent Diseases
Instead of making an appointment to see your family doctor and waiting weeks for a response, you can have a video consultation with a specialist who will be able to help you get a diagnosis and treatment plan.
During the COVID pandemic, when in-person visits are no longer possible, many doctors use video conferencing platforms like Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime to conduct remote consultations with their patients. In many cases, patients may only require a remote consultation to receive prescribed medication or provide advice on managing the illness.
Sharing Of Test Results Or Ultrasound Reports
If you’re required to have some form of testing done, such as an ultrasound, a telemedicine platform can quickly and easily share your results with your physician. This feature eliminates a follow-up in-person appointment and can speed up the diagnosis and treatment process.
Follow Up Counseling Sessions
If you’ve been prescribed medication or discharged from the hospital, you’ll likely need follow-up counseling sessions. These sessions can be conducted over the phone or through a video platform, which is much more convenient than driving to your doctor’s office.
Remote Monitoring Of A Chronic Condition
Suppose you’re living with a chronic condition. Your doctor may recommend that you remotely monitor your health using a telemedicine platform, including tracking your blood pressure, heart rate, or blood sugar levels and occasionally reporting back to your doctor.
Remote Mental and Physical Therapy
If you require prescribed physical or mental therapy, there’s a good chance that it can be delivered remotely through a telehealth platform. As a result, this is an excellent option for people who live in rural or underserved areas and can’t easily access in-person therapy sessions.
Education For Medical Professionals
Telehealth can also provide education for medical professionals, such as online courses, webinars, and even live lectures.
Sharing Reports And Results
One of the essential things is sharing data and reports regarding telehealth. By sharing information, we can learn more about how different treatments work and help to improve patient care.
Telehealth and telemedicine have exploded in recent years as more and more people recognize the benefits of remote health services. So whether you’re living with a chronic condition, have been discharged from the hospital, or are just looking for a convenient way to get a diagnosis and treatment plan, virtual services can help.