Nowadays, there are several new medical terms that an average patient may not understand. For example, there is common misunderstanding of the terms telecare, telemedicine and telehealth. Most people use them interchangeably. However, each of these words refers to a different method of providing health care through video conferencing technology. To clear up the confusion, let's take a look at telehealth, telemedicine and telecare in the following 3 parts.
Part 1: Telehealth
Telehealth, also known as e-health, m-health, is a general word referring to the delivery of health care services, health information services and health care education through telecommunications technologies. Telecare and telemedicine are encompassed within the wider scope of telehealth. Telehealth entails preventive, curative, and promotive aspects. It supports remote monitoring of a patient blood pressure, blood sugar level and electrocardiography (ECG), health education services as well as remote consultations (i.e. telemedicine). Through modern telehealth technology, doctors are able to examine, diagnose, recommend treatment and monitor a patient's medical condition remotely.
The major benefits that telehealth provides patients are list below.
1.They don’t need to travel a long way to see a doctor.
2.They feel safer because there is always a professional doctor monitoring their fluctuating health conditions.
3.They may visit a hospital for checkup less often.
4.They would learn more about their conditions as well as how to manage them.
Part 2: Telemedicine
Telemedicine refers specifically to the delivery of clinical health care services to patients via the use of telecommunication technology. Examples of telemedicine include video conferencing with doctors, digital transmission of medical imaging and remote medical examination or diagnoses. The scope of telemedicine is much narrower than that of telehealth.
The early forms of telemedicine were achieved through radio and telephone, now they’ve been replaced by advanced diagnostic system supported by distributed client-server applications and video conferencing software. Generally, telemedicine can be divided to asynchronous telemedicine, remote monitoring and interactive services.
1.Asynchronous telemedicine means convey medical data such as bio-signals and medical images to a doctor at a convenient time for assessment, which does not need the presence of both parties. What distinguishes it from in-person doctor-patient consultation is the omission of an actual physical examination.
2.Remote monitoring allows a doctor to monitor patients remotely using technological devices. This technique is mainly used for managing chronic diseases and conditions, such as asthma, heart disease and diabetes. It is extremely cost effective.
3.Interactive services offer real-time interactions between a patient and a doctor by means of online communication, phone conversations, home visits, etc. They’re usually applied to physical examination, history review, ophthalmology assessments and psychiatric evaluations.
Part 3: Telecare
Telecare is mainly used to monitor people to get real-time emergency support via mobile phone, computer and other telecommunication technology, which helps to manage a wide range of issues and risks associated with a person living alone. It also offers families additional help with caring responsibilities.
There are three main types of telecare systems:
1.Aid foreseeable problems. It uses signals from sensors to analyze the severity or frequency of monitored events. Doctors and anyone who is concern to address the emerging issues can access the relevant data at anytime.
2.Minimize the chance of problems happening. For instance, a bed sensor can aid prevent fall by activating a lamp when a person gets out of bed. This is handy because a person does not have to reach for the switch or move around in the darkness.
3.Mitigate harm. The system utilizes heat sensors, pendant alarms, smoke detectors, bed sensors and the like to help mitigate harm quickly. For example, a bed sensor can activate an alarm if a person does not return back to a bed after a predetermined time.
Now are you clear about telehealth, telemedicine or telecare? Whatever it is, you’d always need video conference software (ezTalks is highly recommended here) to communicate with doctors online. So hesitate no more and freely sign up below to build a close connection with your doctor online!