What should I use telehealth or telemedicine for?

Telehealth and telemedicine sound the same, but they’re not quite. There are a few differences based on patient benefits and contextual use, but they are both accessible through your local urgent care center. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between telehealth and telemedicine. 

What is Telehealth? 

Telehealth is when healthcare and health information is delivered remotely via communication technologies. It includes aspects of traditional healthcare, such as diagnosis and prescriptions, as well as health education services. Courses covering nutrition, sexual health, and management of chronic diseases are offered to patients through telehealth services. 

What is Telemedicine? 

Telemedicine refers strictly to the healthcare aspect of telehealth. More specifically, telemedicine is the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients. In other words, telemedicine is distant medical practice. 

A telemedicine appointment, for example, may allow patients to be diagnosed over video chat if they cannot get to the doctor’s office or hospital. Another service provided through telemedicine is the interpretation of medical imaging when specialists are not available in the patient’s location. 

How Are They Different? 

As noted above, telehealth is an umbrella term that covers all aspects of healthcare. Telemedicine, on the other hand, only addresses diagnosis and treatment. 

Both telehealth and telemedicine serve to give both patients and healthcare providers or educators a more convenient situation.  

Why Do They Matter? 

Telehealth and telemedicine are increasingly important for the average American’s health. With the recent COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders, getting to the doctor has been even more difficult for lots of patients. Telehealth offers a way for patients to get the care that they need without taking any further risks to their health, especially in areas with COVID outbreaks. 

And with increasingly busy lives, people are less likely to check in with their doctor if it isn’t an emergency. Telehealth makes healthcare easy and convenient, so there are fewer excuses for putting health on the backburner. 

Telehealth Technology

Telehealth (and telemedicine) rely heavily on technology. The most common technology used to complete appointments is the standard smartphone. With this device, patients can chat with their provider at any time and any place, making telehealth much more convenient than traditional options. Patients can sign on to have a virtual appointment with their doctor without having to leave their homes. 

Smartphones also allow patients to take advantage of healthcare apps that help them manage their health. These apps may include options to record health measurements like weight and BMI, set appointments and reminders, share health information with providers, or refill prescriptions. 

Getting the care you need can often be challenging and inconvenient. If you need high-quality remote care, book a telehealth or telemedicine visit through your local urgent care center.

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