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Telemedicine is a subset of telehealth, so first we'll go over telehealth and then explain telemedicine.

In brief, telehealth is the remote delivery of health-related services and information using telecommunications and related technologies. These services include patient care, administrative activities, and health education.

The main focus of telehealth is to enable patients or providers to get remote access to clinicians who have the expertise they need, but who are not in the same geographic location.

For example, this could mean a patient at home sending data from their blood pressure monitor to their cardiologist, who can read the information remotely and make note of any critical changes.

Another example is when a patient who has just had a stroke goes into a rural hosiptal where the clinicians are not familiar with how to treat the stroke. The rural hospital could use telehealth technology to connect with a stroke neurologist in another hospital, enabling that neurologist to see the patient via video-conference, look at the patient's CT scans remotely, and make treatment recommendations (including whether the patient shoud receive tPA - a clot-busting drug which can be very effective in treating 80% of stroke victims, if given within the first 4.5 hours of a stroke.)

Telemedicine is the portion of telehealth focused on patient care in terms of diagnosis and treatment. In the 2 examples above, the remote monitoring of the cardiology patient is not telemedicine; but the evaluation of the stroke patient is telemedicine.

Although the clinical benefits of telehealth and telemedicine can be great, there is a lot more to getting telehealth and telemedicine to be successful.

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2012-04-06 19:25:15
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Q: What is meaning of telemedicine and telehealth?
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