What Is the Difference Between Telehealth and Telemedicine?

October 15, 2020

The terms telemedicine and telehealth are frequently used interchangeably, but the American Academy of Family Physicians makes the following distinction:

“Telehealth is different from telemedicine in that it refers to a broader scope of remote health care services than telemedicine. Telemedicine refers specifically to remote clinical services, while telehealth can refer to remote non-clinical services.”

A virtual or online doctor is defined as one whom a patient can “visit” using a computer, smartphone, or tablet, instead of having to go to a clinical setting in person.

A remote doctor uses telemedicine to deliver medical care to patients isolated geographically, culturally, socioeconomically, or climatically.

Direct-to-consumer telemedicine services offers on demand service to doctor’s services and customers can directly sign up and make an appointment to get a diagnosis, prescriptions, and other healthcare related services. ‘QuickMD’, ‘Teladoc’ and ‘Doctor on Demand’ are examples of these services.

Doctor-to-doctor services include doctor services that are de facto consultants for other doctors, that might include reading of diagnostic imaging studies, assessment and recommendation of acute stroke patients that are already in a healthcare setting (hospital or ER), microscopic analyses of patient specimens, toxicology scans, or blood cell counts, to name a few.

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