Telehealth vs telemedicine — is there a difference? Learn everything you need to know about these modern medical platforms and find out which one better suits your needs.
Telehealth vs Telemedicine: What Every Patient Needs to Know
What Are Telehealth and Telemedicine Services?
Telehealth and telemedicine are medical platforms that health professionals use to provide remote patient care. Health care providers do the treatments and consultations by calling, texting, or even video conferencing with the scheduled patient.
With telecare, patients from rural, medically underserved areas don’t have to travel for hours just to reach the nearest hospital. All they have to do is contact their doctor or specialist through their chosen communication device and proceed with the appointment.
What’s the Difference Between Telehealth vs Telemedicine?
Both platforms improve public health services administration, patient engagement, and patient satisfaction, but they do have their differences. Here are the main three:
1. Scope of Services
Telehealth focuses on improving patient care, health education, research, and health care delivery systems through modern devices and gadgets. It caters to patients who need treatments, mental health patients who require constant monitoring, students who want to study remotely, and medical professionals who want to connect, among others.
Some common telehealth services are:
- Telehealth physical therapy
- Telehealth nursing
Meanwhile, telemedicine is a branch of telehealth that refers solely to the delivery of clinical or remote patient care services.
Remember: All telemedicine services are under telehealth, but not all telehealth services can be telemedicine.
2. Target Market
Telemedicine services are geared toward patients who need all kinds of chronic care and primary care treatments. After all, telemedicine is used to deliver remote clinical services.
On the other hand, telehealth can be used by an array of users with varying goals. It’s not exclusive to patients who need to schedule treatment sessions.
Students and learning institutions can also use it for training programs, and hospitals can use it for staff education. Similarly, those who need constant monitoring can use these devices to update their specialists about their current condition.
3. Telemonitoring Devices Used
Telemedicine is simpler than telehealth when it comes to the gadgets used. Generally, the goal is to provide remote clinical assistance to patients through the use of various devices such as:
- E-Health Chairs: Advanced chairs integrated with a system that monitors heart rate, blood pressure, ECG, and temperature. The system sends this data to a doctor for analysis.
- Communication Devices: Can involve as simple as a mobile phone or a computer
- Apps and Software Programs: There are dozens of telemedicine apps available on the market. They range from simple journals you can use to log your daily activities to advanced programs that monitor your body’s condition.
Meanwhile, telehealth uses the above examples and other devices suitable for health administration and education.
Both telemedicine and telehealth services are innovative programs that allow medical specialists to maximize today’s telecommunications technology. Through remote patient monitoring and health care, many patients won’t have to go through the hassle of waiting in hospital lines for consultations.
Telemedicine is ideal for patients who only need to contact their physician for treatments. Meanwhile, telehealth is ideal for people who regularly go to clinics for various clinical and non-clinical purposes.
Have you used any telehealth or telemedicine service? Share your experience with us in the comments section below!