Monday, March 22, 2010

Telemedicine, telehealth, and telecare

Are you familiar with these terms? Do you use them interchangeably? Telemedicine, telehealth, and telecare all refer to different things. Let's look to Wikipedia for definitions:
  • Telemedicine is a rapidly developing application of clinical medicine where medical information is transferred through interactive audiovisual media for the purpose of consulting, and sometimes remote medical procedures or examinations.
  • Telehealth is the delivery of health-related services and information via telecommunications technologies. Telehealth delivery could be as simple as two health professionals discussing a case over the telephone, or as sophisticated as using videoconferencing between providers at facilities in two countries, or even as complex as robotic technology.
  • Telecare is a term given to offering remote care of elderly and vulnerable people, providing the care and reassurance needed to allow them to remain living in their own homes. The use of sensors may be part of a package which can provide support for people with illnesses such as dementia, or people at risk of falling.
These are truly exciting times to be in the field of medicine. Patients in remote parts of the world are receiving access to better care as health care providers leverage advanced telecommunication solutions to communicate and deliver health care services remotely.

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