Home Telehealth Telehealth Vs Telemedicine: What’s the Difference?

Telehealth Vs Telemedicine: What’s the Difference?

Technology has greatly benefited our lives in almost all aspects. Of course, health care is another area that has taken advantage of the evolution of hardware and software in order to make the lives of patients and health care professionals alike more convenient.

Telehealth and telemedicine are two terms that are constantly being thrown around nowadays, as both are claimed to be the future of health care. Still, there is still some confusion as to what these are all about, and if they have any differences at all between the two.

This article aims to distinguish telemedicine and telehealth from each other, as well as the benefits that these models provide.

What’s the Difference Between Telemedicine and Telehealth?

Telemedicine and telehealth are two terms that are often used interchangeably. While their definitions have many similarities, there are subtle differences between the two. Perhaps the biggest difference between telemedicine and telehealth is scope, which we will discuss later on.

Both paradigms, however, utilize technology in the form of hardware, software, and the Internet to help improve the health care system. Depending on the model being discussed, these can benefit doctors, patients, hospitals, and other medical establishments and entities.

What is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine, as defined by the World Health Organization, means “healing from a distance”. This is one of the most apt definitions for telemedicine as this pertains to the use of technology to create a communication portal between doctors and patients for the purpose of consultation, diagnosis, and treatment.

Telemedicine usually utilizes video, voice, email, and other means of communication so that proper health care can be provided and received. This means that physical consultation wherein doctors and patients would need to be face to face are now literally a thing of the past.

Telemedicine allows for patients to communicate with doctors from across the country in an instant, without the need to travel or queue up in the hospital. Doctors, on the other hand, can handle patients without leaving their office or even the comfort of their home.

Telemedicine, in a nutshell, basically includes features that benefit patients such as being able to provide information and other services to patients such as for checkups, inquiries, and even for the prescription and reordering of medicine. However, there are some functions of health care that blur the line between telemedicine and telehealth.

What is Telehealth?

Telehealth is the umbrella that covers telemedicine and other services. Aside from patient and doctor engagement, telehealth refers to non-clinical services that still support health care. These can include information dissemination in the event of disease outbreaks, patient monitoring records, and training portals, among others.

Store and forward technologies, as well as remote health tracking devices and apps, are parts of telehealth, although some aspects of telemedicine are also covered. This actually makes some specific areas harder to define than others.

Store and forward relates to the automatic sending of lab tests to the specialist for examination, while the remote monitoring apps and devices are capable of providing real-time and automatic recording, and possibly sending, of physical activity and vitals, among others, for review.

Aside from providing information to the public, telehealth also covers administrative tasks within a medical establishment. These can include an online pharmacy, a database of patient records and history, as well as the ability to hold meetings with other specialists and staff.

Other telehealth systems even integrate payroll, accounting, and human resource functionalities as well. As such, telehealth encompasses everything that a hospital, health centre, clinic, or private practice needs in order to operate and serve the public and at a much better and productive rate with the use of technology.

Simply put, telemedicine covers all the features and functionalities that are needed to make patients better, while telehealth covers that as well as other major and minor functions in order to make telemedicine work at optimum levels.

Benefits of Telemedicine and Telehealth

Regardless of what is being talked about, it cannot be denied that both telehealth and telemedicine can provide some great benefits to the current health care system. There are various advantages that can be felt by all components involved in the medical field – whether as a client or supplier.

As technology further evolves and progresses, we will be able to reap even more from telehealth and telemedicine, and the scope will be much wider in the future as well.

Benefits that the public as well as the health care system itself can enjoy include but are not limited to:

  • Prevention of spread of infection
  • Energy conservation as transportation will no longer be required
  • Fewer queues in hospitals
  • Decreased overhead expenses for utilities, rental space, and manpower
  • Increased revenue due to wider market reach
  • Lower direct or indirect patient costs
  • More accurate and real-time recording and updating of data
  • Instant access to patient records
  • Higher patient satisfaction and level of engagement
  • Better work-life balance for health practitioners
  • Reduction of redundancy due to consolidated and centralized systems
  • Perpetuity of data such as training materials, health history, etc.
  • The more efficient and effective operational flow


Regardless of their definitions, telehealth and, at a smaller scale, telemedicine, is capable of providing some great benefits to the health care system as well as to the general public. These technologies have made disseminating information about health easier and have improved the way that we can improve our physical and mental well-being.

Telehealth and telemedicine is an evolving and growing trend in the medical industry. As technology evolves, there will also be a sort of paradigm shift in the field. Manpower requirements may change, and job skills will evolve. Patients will also have an entirely new process should they wish to seek medical attention.

Insurance policies, as well as both national and local government regulations, will need to keep up with these trends as well. Regardless of their differences, telemedicine and telehealth are sure to make an even bigger impact in the years to come, and we should all be prepared for these massive changes in the industry that can affect all of our lives.

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Understanding Medical Law – What is it About?

Medical law is a type of philosophy that is often misunderstood. Is a medical lawyer a doctor or a lawyer? What is...

Medicare and Telehealth – Are You Protected?

Medicare is the foundation of the Australian health care system. It is used to help covers for the cost of healthcare among...

Can I Sue My Doctor for Malpractice? What You Need to Know

The main reason for going to the doctor is to seek treatment for any condition that ails us, or at least to...

8 Types of Medical Doctors – What Do They Do?

A vast majority of us have a family doctor and, if we are lucky enough, they would be the only one tending...

Australian Health Care System: An Overview

Living in Australia certainly has some advantages, and access to good quality health care is definitely one of them. Australians enjoy one...

Medical Malpractice Demystified

What Is Medical Malpractice? Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, a hospital, or a health care specialist hurt...

Top 5 Countries With The Best Healthcare System

Access to health care is a basic human right. Everyone deserves to have access to good health care, and many governments prioritize...

7 Serious Mental Health Issues Faced by Children

Introduction Children are as prone to mental health issues as other age groups. According to the UK Mental Health...

6 Surprisingly Effective Stress Management Techniques

Our world is full of situations and circumstances that stress us out. There are some factors that lead to stress that can...

What Research Says About Telehealth

Telehealth is a relatively new technology that is taking over the health care industry, and it has become much more important now...

5 Upcoming Challenges for the Australian Healthcare System

An average Australian is expected to live up to 82.5 years, according to the World Bank. This is due to the top-notch...

Barriers Holding Back Wider Telehealth Implementation

Introduction The recent coronavirus pandemic has us looking at health care in a different way. Gone are the days...

Relevance of Telehealth in a Coronavirus Affected World

Introduction The global pandemic that we are experiencing right now is unprecedented in modern history. Several aspects of our...

Top 6 Health Insurance Firms in Australia

With Medicare being the primary source of insurance for most Australians, it’s pretty much redundant to get additional insurance from private companies....

Legal Aspect of Telemedicine in Australia

Telemedicine is a relatively new addition in Australia, having been introduced within the last ten years. During its inception, telehealth has evolved...

Telehealth Vs Telemedicine: What’s the Difference?

Technology has greatly benefited our lives in almost all aspects. Of course, health care is another area that has taken advantage of...

8 Frequently Asked Questions About Telemedicine

Telemedicine is a very popular medium in health care nowadays. Doctors and patients alike have reaped the benefits of telemedicine, and many...

5G vs. Health, What is the Truth?

Introduction Just like vehicles, we want our Internet fast. Whether it be for work or play, we require faster...

7 Stunning Benefits of Telemedicine for Doctors

Telemedicine has been around for quite a while, but it has only been now that we are able to enjoy its full...

6 Serious Health Issues That Indigenous Australians Are Facing

Indigenous Australians pertain to Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders found in Australia. They comprise 3.3% of the population and have been around...

7 Serious Health Issues Caused by a Poor Diet

The old adage is that we are what we eat. This holds true especially since the state of our health is largely...

Why are Mental Health Cases on the Rise?

Mental health cases around the world have been increasing dramatically over the years, and specialists are growing more concerned. Data has shown...

6 Serious Health Problems That Obesity Can Cause

Obesity is a major problem all over the world. The World Health Organization stated that almost 2 billion people were overweight in...

3 Common Mental Health Issues That Australians Face

Mental issues are one of the major health concerns not only by Australians but all over the world. These conditions cause a...

Amazing History of Telemedicine: How It Began

Some may think that telemedicine, with its advanced features and methods that seem to come from sci-fi movies, has only been around...