The terms telemedicine and telehealth tend to be used interchangeably, but the terms have subtle differences. They both involve using technology and electronic communications to take care of a medical issue, but they do it with different degrees of interaction with a health care provider.
The way the providers use technology differs when providing care through telehealth versus telemedicine.
Differences Between Telehealth vs. Telemedicine
The term telehealth is atop the medical taxonomy with online health care and refers specifically to remote healthcare services. Telehealth includes all remote health services, including telemedicine, that cover clinical services. Under the telehealth umbrella, providers include remote monitoring, health education, provider training, and prescription delivery.
Telemedicine includes the audio or video interaction between a provider and a patient. It also includes other medically-related interactions that are not face-to-face, like reviewing medical records and facilitating electronic visits where the two parties chat through a patient portal or email system.
They also include virtual check-ins, where patients share details about vitals or health-related anecdotes. Telemedicine also includes interprofessional consultations where a provider and a specialist discuss a patient’s case.
Overall, any conversation that involves remotely discussing a patient’s real-time medical needs is considered telemedicine.
When you see your healthcare provider through your laptop screen, the meeting is considered part of the telemedicine process under the telehealth umbrella. The telehealth services continue after you have stopped the telehealth session, like when your provider orders prescriptions or you check in with your own remote healthcare monitoring service.
When asking what is the difference between telehealth and telemedicine, the difference is that telehealth includes all healthcare services online through electronic communications tools, but telemedicine is specifically when healthcare providers engage with patients regarding medical problems.
Telehealth services use the latest technology to give patients and providers more opportunities to interact more efficiently and affordably.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, education programs — including those for health care providers — have turned to online solutions using telecommunications technology. With so many patients living in rural areas, providers can refer to remote services like tele-education to help them stay up-to-date on the latest medical services and population health issues.
Providers often use tele-education services to educate themselves about the latest health resources and how to better serve their patients with telehealth services.
In previous years, patients would need to call their providers to talk to receptionists, nurses, or clinicians to discuss their medical records. Now, providers offer online patient portals where patients can ask questions, view their electronic health records (EHRs), and request appointments.
These patient portals have made telehealth services more convenient. Patients must create a username and password to securely access their personal patient portals, ensuring HIPAA compliance.
Telemedicine refers specifically to services involving interactive patient care, store-and-forward care, and telehealth patient monitoring. All of these services allow patients and providers to interact through virtual meeting apps and patient portals.
- Interactive Patient Care: With interactive patient care, providers and health care centers can interact with patients through personal devices like tablets, in-room TVs, patient portals, and computers. Using these tools, providers can deliver bedside care, without having to be physically in the room with the patient. With the latest interactive patient care, providers can deliver these same services after the patient leaves the hospital.
- Store-and-Forward Care: With store-and-forward telemedicine, providers can share patient information like x-rays, videos, and lab reports with other specialist providers at different locations. They save the medical information and forward it to other providers, then wait for the reply.
- Remote Patient Monitoring: Patients use remote patient monitoring and remote non-clinical services with digital technology, and their providers use the technology to monitor and collect medical and health data electronically. This telehealth or telemedicine information goes to the provider for timely assessment so the provider can give necessary recommendations and instructions. With remote patient monitoring telehealth services, patients can live at home, reducing the need for costly monitoring stays in the hospital.
Remote Patient Monitoring Solutions in Telehealth and Telemedicine
All remote patient monitoring is telemedicine, which falls under the umbrella of telehealth. With remote patient monitoring services from Trapollo, patients can stay home while receiving quality care from their providers.
Remote monitoring solutions for telemedicine and telehealth can help providers reduce patient expenses, open hospital beds, and reduce readmissions. Patients, especially older ones, can stay in the comfort of their own homes rather than needing care at expensive skilled nursing facilities.
Trapollo offers Remote Patient Monitoring solutions and remote medical devices both for passive and interactive monitoring through video and wearable monitors. Trapollo’s services also interact with third-party, bring-your-own devices. These health care services effectively, safely, and privately share health information so providers can deliver individual patient care.
Providers can use the Technology-Enabled Patient Communication Systems through cellular activation, broadband, and WiFi to hold convenient telehealth appointments with their patients. Providers can collect patient data without having to meet face-to-face in busy clinical or hospital settings. This technology reduces the stress of worrying about transmitting contagious viruses in face-to-face settings.
Our Remote Patient Monitoring solutions help providers engage with caregivers and patients using our virtual health care platform. Patients stay active in their care while remotely interacting through their monitoring devices, patient portals, and telemedicine appointments, keeping them highly satisfied with their care.
Providers appreciate at-home diagnostic testing, remote patient monitoring, and cloud-based at-home care through Trapollo. Patients appreciate being able to use cost-effective solutions, rather than returning to the hospital for long stays or occasional monitoring updates.
Trapollo works closely with providers, but we also work with the people behind the scenes, including payers, employers, and medical device manufacturers to ensure our products meet expectations and provide outstanding quality of care. We offer exceptional Logistics and Support Services to deliver to providers and patients get the devices they need, where and when they need them.
To service the needs of all groups working in the healthcare industry, our virtual care platform works seamlessly with our remote monitoring devices to make the process easy for everyone involved.