Telemedicine and telehealth appear to be terms that are used interchangeably by providers and users. Even the definitions of these terms differ among providers. According to HRSA, telemedicine technically refers only to clinical applications of technology where the medical information is directed at improving a patient’s health status. Telemedicine encompasses different types of programs and services provided for the patient. Telehealth is the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration.
Source: Health Resources and Services Administration, How does telehealth differ from telemedicine? (No longer available online)
For more information on Telemedicine/Telehealth and related issues, see the following Rural Health Information Hub resources:
- Telehealth Topic Guide
- Health Information Technology Topic Guide
- Models and Innovations by Topic: Telehealth
Back to: Summer 2011 Issue