Covid-19 changed the face of the earth forever, tarnishing the old norms and creating new standards of living, the United States of America was no exception. Technology became a vital part of our lives in order to proceed ahead with a contagious disease.
The dependency on technology has also increased as it became a norm to find solutions to almost everything online.
The health sector was no different and that is when online consultation came into the picture in the form of telehealth and telemedicine. One might wonder what is the difference between telehealth and telemedicine?
Covid-19 increased the dependency upon virtual medical assistance as a number of people were unable to go for a face-to-face consultation because of the SOPs and social distancing measures.
What is the difference between telehealth and telemedicine?
There is not much difference between the two terms in fact they both are often used simultaneously in the same sentence as well.
Telehealth and telemedicine assisted the patients to get help from medical care providers while staying at their places. Both terms are interchangeable and sometimes even synonymous but the fact is that telehealth is more commonly used and telemedicine is a term that comes under the wide umbrella of telehealth.
Let’s have a look at them individually for a better understanding:
What is meant by Telehealth?
Telehealth is a term that defines all the telecommunication and electronic services and technologies which are used to provide basic medical assistance and services, not in person.
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, about 60% of medical and healthcare institutions use telehealth or its services in any other form.
Technology has molded our lives and we have become dependent upon phones, tablets, and computers even to get assistance for our healthcare needs.
Everything which involves technology related to the medical sector such as tracking health, reading informative blogs, filling up symptoms surveys, etc. – all come under the umbrella of telehealth.
The main aim of telehealth is to provide information to the people as well as make medical health care accessible for people who live in far-fetched communities or rural areas. People who have contracted infectious and chronic diseases and are unable to travel long distances get benefits from telehealth.
Telehealth has transformed into a whopping big industry that generates billions of dollars in revenue. It is used for multiple purposes apart from telemedicine.
Some of its important usages are:
- Online delivery: Thanks to the advent of delivery services, now online pharmacies can deliver medicines or any other medical-related supplies as soon as they are ordered. It is very convenient and especially helps in the cases which are life-threatening and the patient requires to have medicine administered on urgency.
- Personal health managing apps: There are thousands of apps available online waiting for a click from you to download. There are a lot of apps that deal specifically with managing your health. They record important details like blood pressure, diabetes level, heartbeat, etc. so that you can keep a track of your health and administer medicine timely.
- Health monitoring: Most technology-backed devices can measure health components such as blood glucose, blood pressure, etc. once it is synchronized with the doctor, the report is directly sent to your physician without the help of a third party. It makes the physician monitor and determines your health condition and according to the report prescribe the medications while staying at a distance.
- Reminders for appointments: Thanks to the technology, now you will not have a missed appointment. There are apps that remind about their scheduled appointments to the patients. For convenience, the appointments can be rescheduled or canceled according to the feasibility.
- Educating the masses: Technology played a massive role in expanding the information regarding chronic disease to far-fetched areas where it wasn’t feasible to travel physically. This was especially beneficial in the days of coronavirus when information needed to be spread out in masses for people to act accordingly. Telehealth played a massive role in spreading the information regarding covid-19 and alerting and developing the safety measures and SOPs.
What is meant by telemedicine?
The confusion between telehealth and telemedicine is not new but to be honest their not much of a difference between both terms
Telemedicine is the name given to a specific kind of field that works under telehealth.
In simple terms, the one-on-one communication between a patient and the healthcare provider is known as telemedicine. This can be conducted through various technology-assisted means such as video conferencing, video calling, audio calling, etc.
It has become extremely relevant in today’s world, especially with the aggravation of mental health illnesses along with behavioral illness. The advancement of technology has benefited this sector the most.
Telemedicine actually provides medical health officials at the fingertips of the masses. They help the patients with scheduled appointments.
A psychiatrist or a psychologist might be seen as a stigma in the society, so the patient can conduct a video call at the given time at ease. This also enables the privacy quotient.
Telehealth and telemedicine
The main aim of both the above-mentioned term is the reduction of disparity regarding healthcare among the masses. As the cost of everything increases including the medical expense, it becomes highly difficult to afford the best possible healthcare in the United States of America, this is where telemedicine and telehealth come into the picture to aid the patients.
Telemedicine and telehealth are two of the most vital components of the medical healthcare industry and the American Academy of Family Physicians plans to expand their uses in order to improve the health of American citizens by connecting them with the appropriate standards of medical health care.