What is Telehealth?
The Mayo Clinic defines telehealth as “the use of digital information and communication technologies, such as computers and mobile devices, to access health care services remotely and manage health care.” This casts a wide umbrella that covers a variety of uses that could be seen as telehealth. The easiest, and perhaps best, way to define telehealth is to look at a few of the uses of telehealth.
Telemonitoring, or also known as remote patient monitoring, allows health care professionals to keep an eye on a patient even when they are at home. A few of these uses include keeping track of vitals, blood sugar levels, weight, blood sugar, blood oxygen levels, heart rate, and electrocardiograms. Doctors can view these levels and then have educated conversations with patients to make decisions on care.
Teleconsultations happen between patient and doctor, as noted above, such as to discuss steps before or after an operation. Teleconsultations are also being used between providers. Providers who are in different time zones are able to speak with one another as if they are side by side to get opinions on difficult cases. An NIH study found that physicians who used teleconsultations had an effect on the decision of the requesting physician, with the effects being “high quality and rapid decision making” and “faster and better patient management” among others.
Tele-education is a form of telehealth that has been embraced by the medical community for over a decade. The NIH notes that Online lectures, exams, continuing education, electronic libraries, and online medical and scientific databases are just a few ways that tele-education is changing the landscape and making it easier for healthcare professionals to become better informed.
Often confused with telehealth, telemedicine resides as a sub-category within telehealth. Providers are utilizing telemedicine to discuss health in new ways that are pushing the level of care provided forward. Providers are able to have conversations over a video to discuss with patients their options, sometimes saving patients time from traveling to a practice or hospital. This exciting opportunity is embracing technology and allowing doctors to provide care that allows the patient to fit care into their busy lives. In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, stay safe at home while still receiving the care and knowledge they are seeking out.
At Beam Health, we believe that telehealth and telemedicine are important aspects of care that have become permanent solutions to a lot of providers and patients. Seeing their importance, we have built a telemedicine offering that is easy to implement for the provider, with most having a working telemedicine platform in under 24 hours, and easy to use for the patient, requiring no apps or software to download. Simply put, Beam is telemedicine made easy. To learn more about Beam Health, please set up a free, personal demo with one of our Beam team members to find out how Beam can help any practice.