What are Telehealth and its difference from Telemedicine?

March 23, 2023

Digitalization has led to an increase in online consultations. The COVID-19 epidemic has skyrocketed this trend. Patients prefer remote consultations to in-person visits. It is cost-effective and time-saving. The use of telehealth and telemedicine is helpful in this case. Telehealth solution permits patients and providers to stay in contact and consult from the comfort of their homes.

Many people combine telehealth and telemedicine. However, telehealth is a vast term, and telemedicine falls under it. The main advantage of telehealth and telemedicine is to enhance patient experience and gives them ease in getting healthcare. Because it permits remote consultation, that's why it significantly influences chronic care management.

What is Telehealth?

Telehealth is used by 60% of healthcare organizations in the United States. Telehealth uses technology to improve health. Telehealth aims to provide information to people who live in isolated or rural areas and need help traveling long distances for consultations. People suffering from infectious diseases and chronic illnesses are satisfied the most. Telehealth will expand into a $3.2 billion industry.

Benefits of Telehealth

  • Patients can record their personal health information using thousands of apps online. These apps can track everything from your menstrual cycle to your caloric intake.
  • Telehealth software is very crucial for enhancing the patient experience.
  • You can order medications and supplies online. Online deliveries are convenient, especially when medicines are urgently needed.
  • Appointments are easy to forget. In appreciation of technology, some apps remind patients of their meetings. Apps even allow rescheduling or cancellation.
  • Many medical instruments today can measure your blood glucose or blood pressure and send the results directly to your doctor.
  • With COVID'19, telehealth has played a vital role in informing the public about virus hotspots and SOP developments.
  • Physicians can review and consult EHRs (electronic health records) in organizations. Accessing all previous medications and test results on one platform could save lives in an emergency.

Types of Telehealth

Here are the four types of telehealth services.

- Live Video

Telehealth apps assist in live video conferences. It is the most popular way of remote consultation between patients and practitioners. It allows two-way audiovisual telecommunication. It is referred to as real-time healthcare. It will enable patients to contact their providers quickly and get treatment instantly.

- Store and Forward

It refers to the electronic transmission of medical data in documents, digital images, and pre-recorded videos that help practitioners diagnose illness and give proper treatments.

- Remote Patient Monitoring

RPM solutions collect a wide range of health data such as blood pressure, blood sugar level, weight, blood oxygen level, heart rate, and many more from patients and transfer them to healthcare professionals in facilities. It is vital for daily monitoring and enhancing patient engagement in their health.

- mHealth

It is a new but rapidly increasing method of technology-enabled healthcare. It involves providing healthcare services through cell phones, tablets, and PDAs.

What is Telemedicine?

WHO refers to telemedicine as "healing from a distance." Telecommunications and information technology are used to provide distant clinical services. Telemedicine is used for digital imaging, video consultations, and remote medical diagnosis.

In-person visits with physicians are no longer required to receive treatment. Specialists can treat patients with little access to care through secure video and audio connections.

What is the Setup for Telemedicine?

Executing telemedicine into practice can be straightforward or complicated. Telemedicine consultations can be delivered by solo practitioners and clinics using basic HIPAA-compliant video conference software. To have a complete virtual clinic solution, providers should consider their existing workflow and incorporate telemedicine software into their practice. It is standard for these software systems to have EHRs, and payment functions. As it is more difficult to train many physicians to change their behavior, large medical groups or hospitals generally need a custom telehealth solution to fit into their existing workflow.

In addition to the software, providers should do their due diligence on the telehealth regulations and reimbursement policies in their country or state.

To implement telemedicine, organizations must change operationally and understand regulations, legalities, and technology. Many organizations partner with telemedicine companies to ease the transition and implementation of telemedicine.

What Are the Procedures for Conducting It?

There are several ways to conduct telemedicine. Simple video calls are the most basic (like with family and friends), but the US requires a secure HIPAA-compliant video conference tool. Many telehealth companies like talkEHR can also provide this easy-to-use and safe solution.

Telemedicine's Benefits

  • HCPs and patients do not interact face-to-face, reducing their openness to pathogens. This way, the chance of catching a disease from bacteria is also reduced.
  • Patients can obtain medical care anytime, anywhere through telemedicine, even at night.
  • Online discussions between patients and physicians enhanced safety during recent unwanted events such as the pandemic and lockdown period.
  • For chronic disease patients, telemedicine has proven to be a convenient option since it allows them to avoid clinic visits.
  • Physicians provide many benefits to patients. A few of them are personalized care and quick recovery.  

The difference between telehealth and telemedicine is very clear. Telehealth is a broad department that allows remote healthcare consultations through different ways, like video conferences and store-and-forward, RPM services, and mHealth.

On the other hand, telemedicine comes under the umbrella of telehealth, which involves medical consultation and treatment virtually between two parties. Get talkEHR’s telehealth solution to enhance patient experience and satisfaction. Besides, you can also get talkEHR’s other health IT solutions, such as practice management software, medical billing service, Precision BI Lite, and more.