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What Does Telehealth Mean?

Telehealth is the act or process of delivering health care, usually through information and education, through the use of communications technology such as the Internet, videoconferencing, streaming media, and terrestrial and wireless communication. It encompasses a broad technology set, as mentioned, to deliver virtual medical, health and education services. It also still applies to traditional clinical diagnosis and monitoring being done through distance technology.


Techopedia Explains Telehealth

Telehealth is commonly defined as the act of remote data interchange between a patient and a health-care professional in order to assist in the diagnosis and monitoring of a patient with a condition that needs constant attention, so as to allow the patient to live his/her daily life without a health professional constantly being by his/her side. This is often accomplished by new yet experimental technology that monitors the patient’s condition and then sends the patient data to physicians in real time. The above definition is also considered as a more defined and smaller scoped field called telemedicine, which revolves mostly around the remote interaction between a patient and a health-care professional, but is still considered to be under general telehealth.

Telehealth is also used to describe the wide variety of processes that use technology for providing diagnosis and health management either to patients directly or to proxy health professionals who are directly interacting with patients in the form of information, consults and general education.

Telehealth includes the following fields and actions:

  • Counseling
  • Home health
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Dentistry
  • Chronic disease monitoring and treatment
  • Disaster management
  • Consumer and professional education

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.