What is Telehealth?
Telehealth is the use of digital technologies to deliver medical care, health education, and public health services by connecting multiple users in separate locations. Telehealth encompasses a broad definition of technology-enabled health care services. Telehealth includes telemedicine (diagnosis and treatment of illness or injury – see detailed description below), and services such as assessment, monitoring, communications, prevention and education. It involves a broad range of telecommunications, health information,
What is Telemedicine?
The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) defines telemedicine as the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve a patient’s clinical health status. Telemedicine includes a growing variety of applications and services using two-way video, smart phones, wireless tools and other forms of telecommunications technology. Starting over forty years ago with demonstrations of hospitals extending care to patients in remote areas, the use of telemedicine has spread rapidly and is now becoming integrated into the ongoing operations of hospitals, specialty departments, home health agencies, private physician offices, as well as consumer’s homes and workplaces. Telemedicine is not a separate medical specialty. Products and services related to telemedicine are often part of a larger investment by health care institutions in either information technology or the delivery of clinical care. Even in the reimbursement fee structure, there is usually no distinction made between services provided on site and those provided through telemedicine and often no separate coding required for billing of remote services. ATA has historically considered telemedicine and telehealth to be interchangeable terms, encompassing a wide definition of remote healthcare. Patient consultations via video conferencing, transmission of still images, e-health including patient portals, remote monitoring of vital signs, continuing medical education, consumer-focused wireless applications and nursing