The intersection between medicine and technology can be quite confusing. Often times, the terms telemedicine and telehealth are used interchangeably. However, there is a distinction between the two.
Telemedicine is the practice of medicine using technology to deliver care at a distance. A physician or other healthcare provider uses telecommunications technology for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases and injuries. All of the healthcare services are provided to patients remotely via video, smartphones, email, etc. That being said, this particular practice eliminates the need for an in-person visit.
Typically, telemedicine aids in the management of chronic conditions, medication management, follow-up visits, and video consultations with specialists.
Telehealth, on the other hand, includes a wide range of technologies and services to deliver care and to improve the healthcare delivery system as a whole. It facilitates patient self-management and caregiver support for patients. This particular practice encompasses 4 infrastructures: