Technology and medicine are closely related to each other, with innovations in technology making impressive contributions to the medical sector. The intersection of medicine and technology is sometimes a source of confusion as many lack a clear understanding of the technical terms related to medical technology.
Telemedicine and telehealth are two terms that are often used interchangeably due to the wrong conviction that they mean the same thing. But they aren’t the same.
What Is Telemedicine?
According to the Federal Telecommunications Commission, telemedicine is defined as the usage of telecommunication technologies to support the delivery of diagnostic and medical treatment-related services. In simple terms, it is the act of using technology to deliver medical care at a distance.
Patients in remote areas can avail of medical service without having to see the doctor in person. Doctors make use of live audio, video, and instant messaging technologies to diagnose the condition of the patients remotely and give medical advice.
What Is Telehealth?
Telehealth refers to the electronic and telecommunication technologies that are used to provide services to people in remote areas. It is the general term used for a broad range of technologies used to improve the healthcare delivery system as a whole.
Telehealth And Telemedicine – Differences?
Telemedicine specifically refers to remote clinical services while telehealth includes non-clinical services like administrative meetings, provider training, and medical education.
To understand the difference between telemedicine and telehealth, let us discuss a few examples of each.
Examples Of Telemedicine Activities
Here are some examples of telemedicine.
In teleradiology, a CT is sent over the internet to generate a report after which your physician gets notified about it. According to a survey conducted by the American Medical Association in 2018, radiology makes the maximum use of telemedicine for patient interactions when compared to other medical specialties.
Teledermatology involves three steps:
- Images are captured in a primary care office and uploaded into the technology system.
- Remote dermatologists study the images and share their observations.
- Primary care physicians review the reports sent by the dermatologist to decide if the patient would require separate dermatology appointments.
Examples Of Telehealth
Here are a few examples of telehealth.
Telepharmacy allows one pharmacist to supervise and preview prescriptions at multiple locations. With telepharmacy, patients get counseling from a remote pharmacist.
Telemedicine and telehealth have significant differences in terms of their scope and nature of activities. They are never to be confused as the same thing.