Telehealth, Telemedicine, and Telecare: How Do They Differ From One Another?

At the height of the pandemic, you have probably gone online to look for health-related answers such as how to purchase medicine digitally or the nearest psychiatrist in Cebu for your mental health queries. While browsing, you may have encountered the terms telehealth, telemedicine, and telecare. They sound the same, but what exactly are they, and why are so many people taking advantage of this?

With their growing popularity and booming demand due to COVID-19, these three medical terms are often used interchangeably. Indeed, telehealth, telemedicine, and telecare offer an array of healthcare services, but each has its unique significance.

Telehealth

Telehealth is a popular blanket term that refers to various healthcare services, from medical education to treatment delivered via technological means.It is a broad term encompassing all aspects of remote healthcare, whether clinical or non-clinical, with telemedicine and telecare covered under its scope. As the name suggests, it uses telecommunications technology to deliver medical services, usually in video conferencing apps, media streaming, and wireless communication.

Telehealth Services:

  • Health education
  • Remote patient monitoring
  • Mental health counseling and services
  • Administrative meetings
  • Provider training

Telemedicine

Meanwhile, telemedicine is a subset of telehealth that focuses exclusively on education and clinical services. As mentioned, telemedicine uses software and electronic means to provide patients with remote healthcare services without needing in-person visits. It is often used for patient follow-ups, chronic illness management, and specialist consultations.

Telemedicine Services:

  • Virtual or phone consultations
  • Remote medical evaluation and diagnosis
  • Specialist services (for example, an ophthalmologist in Pasig
  • Medical imaging digital transmission
  • Medication management

Telecare

Perhaps a lesser-known term among the three is telecare. Another remote healthcare service provider under telehealth, telecare, caters to the elderly and people with less physical ability, giving them the care they need in the comforts of their homes. Patients using telecare wear specialized devices equipped with tools and sensors to aid them in living with illnesses such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, and physical disability, preventing them from sustaining an accidental injury.

Telecare Services:

  • Health and fitness applications
  • Digital medication reminder technologies
  • Early warning and detection software
  • Sensors and tools for both patient and caregiver(s)
  • Vital signs monitoring (e.g., blood pressure, glucose levels, and many more)

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