Telehealth is the transmission of health-related services or information over the telecommunications infrastructure. As such, telehealth includes both telemedicine, which involves providing clinical services remotely, and non-clinical elements of the healthcare system, such as education.
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Here's one example of how telehealth services are being used. The United States Department of Veterans' Affairs provides three levels of service for clients:
- General (real-time) telehealth, which is also known as care coordination/general telehealth (CCGT), allows patients at a VA clinic to confer with specialists in other locations.
- Home telehealth, which is also known as care coordination/home telehealth (CCHT), allows healthcare providers to monitor a patient’s symptoms and vital signs remotely.
- Store-and-forward telehealth involves capturing clinical data, such as images or X-rays and storing the data at the premises before forwarding it to another location for evaluation.
Telehealth is said to reduce costs and improve patient outcomes. According to a study by the market research firm Frost and Sullivan, the global telehealth market is expected to grow from $6 billion in 2008 to $8 billion in 2012.
> Wikipedia has an extensive entry about telehealth.
> Alice Lipowicz reports on the Veterans Health Administration's pioneering telehealth program.
> The Health IT Pulse is a blog dedicated to telehealth, telemedicine and Health IT.
> Networking becomes backbone for telehealth: Resources.
> Experts discuss telehealth at the Health IT Exchange.
> Highlights from the American Telehealth Association conference.
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