Telehealth might not yet play a significant part within Healthcare systems around the world, but here are some thoughts on what roles it might undertake. and soon:
When discussing telehealth, one first needs to refer to definitions. The Health Resources Services Administration defines telehealth as “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.” It is differentiated from telemedicine which is focused on remote clinical services. Telehealth today is most commonly associated with video conferencing between a provider and patient. However healthcare encompasses more than the encounter and includes support processes and tools which will hopefully contribute to better outcomes. Electronic health records and interoperability of examination tools with video technology now permit a virtual exam similar to an in-person one. There are now well-defined clinical practice guidelines for telehealth by the American Telehealth Association. I will discuss ways in which telehealth will provide benefits to both patients and providers.
- Telehealth will place the patient as the focal point of care. It…
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