What Is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine has come a long way since the 1950s, when it was mainly used as a method of communication between a select group of hospitals and university medical centers, allowing specialists to collaborate with doctors on patient care.
As technology evolved throughout the decades, with constant connectivity and personal devices that put the world at your fingertips, telemedicine has also moved forward to create a revolutionary new way to provide health care. Telemedicine delivers in-depth virtual care to you anytime and anywhere, and it also allows medical providers to share patient data securely. Along with this increased accessibility, telemedicine can also enhance engagement between you and your healthcare provider, which often leads to greater satisfaction with your mental health care.
Another term you may hear about is telehealth, but there are some key differences between telehealth and telemedicine.
Telehealth vs. Telemedicine
The telehealth umbrella covers services and technologies that provide both clinical and non-clinical care. Clinical telehealth offerings may include medical assessments and treatment for individuals or families, while examples of non-clinical services include education and training for healthcare providers.
On the other hand, telemedicine focuses exclusively on clinical care. Electronic communications and software programs help physicians and patients meet, either via phone or video, outside of the typical office setting.
Both telehealth and telemedicine are important because they raise the bar for healthcare around the world. Patients and doctors stay connected in ways they never have before, for a seamless continuum of care. This is especially important for people who have psychiatric and mental health issues, who now have a range of technology applications that can help them get the care they need.