The terms telehealth and telemedicine are often used interchangeably. Or you can say that these terms are confused with each other. Popular to the contrary belief, telehealth and telemedicine are two separate entities despite having the same delivery model. Although both are delivered over the phone or the Internet, they share some stark differences between them.
Telehealth is a wide field of medical services and education over electronic communication methods. Telemedicine, on the other hand, is a part of telehealth to deliver prescription and medical consultation over the phone or the Internet.
Telehealth is a tree while telemedicine is one of its branches.
According to HealthIT.gov, telehealth and telemedicine are two different things. It states—
“Telehealth is different from telemedicine because it refers to a broader scope of remote health care services than telemedicine. While telemedicine refers specifically to remote clinical services, telehealth can refer to remote non-clinical services, such as provider training, administrative meetings, and continuing medical education, in addition to clinical services.”
AAFP also opines the same—
“Telehealth is different from telemedicine in that it refers to a broader scope of remote health care services than telemedicine. Telemedicine refers specifically to remote clinical services, while telehealth can refer to remote non-clinical services.”
CCHP believes that telehealth is a commonly used term for various diagnosis and management—
“Telemedicine is often still used when referring to traditional clinical diagnosis and monitoring that is delivered by technology. However, the term telehealth is now more commonly used as it describes the wide range of diagnosis and management, education, and other related fields of health care.”
Telehealth refers to a wide range of technologies and services to deliver patient care and enhance the healthcare delivery system. Telehealth is different from telemedicine as it includes a broad range of remote healthcare services than telemedicine. While the term telemedicine covers remote clinical services, telehealth is used for remote non-clinical services, including provider training administrative meetings, medical education, apart from giving medical services.
Telemedicine is said to be started in the 1950s when some hospital networks and universities looked for ways to share information and images via telephone.
Telehealth is a part of E-health, which covers the services of health information, for healthcare professionals and customers, education, and training of healthcare pros and health systems management through the internet and telecommunications.
Telemedicine is a part of telehealth. The term telemedicine is used for the delivery of healthcare services over the phone or the internet. Simply put, it is the use of information technologies and electrical communication methods to deliver remote clinical services.
The remote medical diagnosis and evaluations, digital transmission of medical imaging, and consulting with remote physicians are part of telemedicine. It is a highly effective and practical alternative compared to sending patients or medical knowledge through air, sea, and rough land routes.
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Delivering health services is not a new practice. According to some sources and experts, remote medical services might date back to the 18th century. Telemedicine is considered much older than telehealth.
One of the first instances of telemedicine was found in an 1879 article mentioning the use of the telephone for medical services. In 1925, a cover of Science of Invention magazine depicts a doctor diagnosing a patient by the radio. The first reference to telemedicine was found in medical literature in 1950.
Although telehealth and telemedicine are generally two separate identities, some recommend merging them both due to the similar nature.
So you must have understood the differences between telehealth and telemedicine. Despite having the same delivery model and related to the same genre, they are not the same. Telehealth is a wide field of medical services and education being delivered over the phone or the internet. Telemedicine is the part of telehealth to provide prescription and medical consultation over the phone or the Internet.