Is There a Difference Between Telehealth, Telemedicine and Telecare?

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There are many medical terms being used today that most people may not fully understand. A common misunderstanding is that the terms telehealth, telemedicine and telecare are interchangeable. Each of these terms refers to a different way of administering health care via technology.  There is a distinction between these terms.

Telehealth

The term telehealth includes a broad range of technologies and services to provide patient care and improve the healthcare delivery system as a whole. It refers to a broader scope of remote healthcare services. Telehealth refers to non-clinical services, such as provider training, administrative meetings, and continuing medical education, in addition to clinical services.

Telemedicine

Telemedicine is a subset of telehealth that refers solely to clinical health care services. Telemedicine involves the use of electronic communications and software to provide clinical services to patients without an in-person visit. Telemedicine technology is frequently used for follow-up visits, management of chronic conditions, medication management, specialist consultation and many other services that can be provided remotely via video conferencing.

Telecare

Telecare is support and assistance provided at a distance using information and communication technology.  It is the continuous, automatic and remote monitoring of users by means of sensors to enable them to continue living in their own home, while minimizing risks such as a fall, gas and flood detection and relate to other real time emergencies and remotely monitor risks or early warning signs of health conditions.

Whether you call it telehealth, telemedicine or telecare, the healthcare industry is evolving by connecting patients with physicians, no matter the time of day or location.