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.
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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