Within the healthcare industry, medical jargon can be thrown around with little rhyme or reason. This may not be a problem for professionals within the field but may prove difficult for the general public, especially for patients trying to figure out what their medical payer may or may not cover. Terminology such as telehealth and telemedicine are often used interchangeably. The truth is that these terms refer to a different way of administering health care via existing technologies or a different area of medical technology.
Telemedicine is the clinical application of technology of a physician delivering medical care to patients remotely using technology including telecommunications infrastructure. Telemedicine refers specifically to remote clinical services.
Telehealth is more of a consumer-facing approach that refers to the technology and services used to provide medical care and medical services remotely. Telehealth can refer to remote non-clinical services.
Is Telemedicine or Telehealth more predominantly used?
As a result of our Google traffic research, we discovered that on average telehealth was searched 23,987 over the past 12 months, while telemedicine was searched 32,044 times.
Through our analysis of the major healthcare payers and IT vendors, the majority of organizations (57%) use the term telehealth. These organizations include Medicare, Amwell, Teladoc, MDlive, Epic, Eclinicalworks, United Health Group, and Aetna. 21% of our subjects including Snap.md, Cerner, and Humana use the terms telemedicine or telehealth interchangeably. Medicaid, Doctor On Demand and Doxy.me comprise the final 22% that make use of the term telemedicine.
Other terms used to describe remote medical care:
- Video Visit
- Digital Triage
- Remote Medicine