There are numerous forms of telehealth which is a vital aspect of the healthcare IT. These include remote monitoring, live-interactive video-conferencing, storage-and-forwarding of imaging, and education of providers. A lot of different types of healthcare settings could benefit from telehealth service providers and technology. Telehealth could help rural healthcare providers from delivering better healthcare by connecting rural healthcare providers and their patients to care services at remote locations and promoting patient-centered healthcare.
Connecting Patients and Providers
Telehealth connects the rural healthcare providers with their patients to healthcare services at distant sites. Such capabilities enable the patients to receive healthcare in their community itself without having to travel long distances. Given shortage of certain medical specialties in rural America, the telehealth clinic and telemedicine are playing a vital role in making sure that patients in remote locations are able to access the care that they require. For instance, imagine a rural health care provider who needs to refer a patient to heart stroke specialist in a location where there’s no such specialist. With telehealth technology, the primary health care provider would be able to leverage the telecommunication technology to connect patients with the needed specialist at remote locations instead of having the patient travel to the specialists in-person to obtain care.
Telecommunication technology includes:
• The internet
• Video conferencing
• Storage and forwarding of imaging
• Terrestrial wireless communications
• Streaming media
Telehealth is different from telemedicine as it encompasses a much broader scope of remote healthcare services. Telemedicine includes services rendered to remote healthcare services specifically.