Telehealth is an umbrella term for delivering health services and information using electronic methods. It can include physicians discussing a patient’s illness by telephone, video conferencing between health facilities, and even remote surgical procedures.1
Telehealth is different from telemedicine because it refers to a broader scope of remote healthcare 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. 2
Many organizations prefer the broader term of “telehealth” rather than “telemedicine.” For example, previously dental services that were provided via long-distance technologies were referred to as “teledentistry,” while only medical services only were labeled “telemedicine.” These terms have now been combined and are collectively referred to as “telehealth.”3
We have chosen to use the broader term of “telehealth” throughout this issue.
1 RHIhub Telehealth Topic Guide: Introduction (Rural Health Information Hub)
2 What is telehealth? (HealthIT.gov)
3 Using Telehealth Technologies to Improve Oral Health for Vulnerable and Underserved Populations (CDA Journal, cited by The Children’s Partnership)
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