What is Telehealth?

There is a high chance that you have heard the term telehealth more frequently in recent years. But what exactly is telehealth? In its most simple terms, the definition of telehealth is the delivery of healthcare services remotely.

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What is telehealth in simple terms?

What is telehealth in simple terms?

There is a high chance that you have heard the term telehealth more frequently in recent years. But what exactly is telehealth? In its most simple terms, the definition of telehealth is the delivery of healthcare services remotely. The exact type of service that is being delivered is entirely dependent on the healthcare provider and there is a large scope of professions using telehealth, including general practitioners, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, and physical therapists. One of the most common forms of telehealth, and the one that most people refer to, involves video conferencing. This means that patients can connect with their physicians via a remote video call, and have the same appointment that they would have in-person, but from a remote location. These appointments are usually facilitated by a telehealth app that patients have 24/7 access to, as long as they have a device and internet connection. 

Understanding how telehealth works can be slightly complicated when you start to think about the specific technology that is involved, but for the most part, it is a significantly simple solution to offering a wider array of healthcare services to patients. The success of telehealth is reflected in the massive growth in the industry, and the market size was predicted by Fortune Business Insights to grow from USD 90.74 billion in 2021 to USD 636.38 billion in 2028.

What types of care can you get using telehealth?

The types of care offered by telehealth are growing every day. It has become one of the simplest ways to access healthcare, particularly by patients who live remotely or have accessibility barriers. Telehealth is also extremely useful for patients who live with a chronic illness. Remote monitoring devices allow them to manage their own care and reduce the amount of time and money they spend attending doctor’s appointments. Some of the most frequently accessed types of healthcare in telehealth include:

  • Online counseling and therapy services
  • Colds, coughs, headaches, and stomach aches
  • Vital signs, weight, blood pressure, blood sugar 
  • Remote monitoring
  • Health education 
  • Prescription management 
  • Post-surgical follow-up 
  • Physical therapy exercises and rehabilitation follow-up 

The software provided by telehealth healthcare businesses usually offers a two-way platform of communication. This means that in addition to using video conferencing software to have an appointment with a physician, patients can reach out to their doctors and vice versa:

  • Physicians may request from their client a written update on their current health status, or send them reminders to take medication or complete exercises. 
  • Patients can use telehealth features to ask for a renewed prescription or referral.
What types of care can you get using telehealth?
Examples of telehealth services

Examples of telehealth services

The different services offered by telehealth are constantly changing, reflecting the continuous advancements in health-related technology. The most common and well-known service offered by telehealth is telemedicine. We will expand on how exactly telemedicine fits into the broader concept of healthcare shortly, but for now, just keep in mind that telemedicine specifically refers to a direct line of communication between a patient and a healthcare physician. Most people who are accessing telemedicine will schedule an online appointment with a physician and then have their appointment from the comfort of their home. Most of the time these appointments will be conducted via video conferencing, but it can also refer to messaging, emailing, or an audio call. 

Another frequently accessed service offered by telehealth is remote monitoring. This allows doctors to check on their patients from a distance using specific equipment, like vital sign monitors. Patients who live with chronic illnesses benefit largely from this form of telehealth as they can be continuously monitored by doctors whilst living their life normally. Telehealth offers patients the ability to play a much larger role in managing their own healthcare, all while saving them both time and resources.

Telehealth is also commonly used by mental health practitioners and psychologists. This was particularly noted during the COVID-19 pandemic, a period of time that saw massive increases in mental health-related issues. Patients who require some form of therapy can access these services from the comfort of their homes. If an urgent situation arises, both therapists and patients have a direct line of communication with each other, helping ensure the constant safety of clients. As the telehealth industry grows, we are seeing more and more services being offered using specific technologies, increasing the accessibility of all forms of healthcare.

How is telehealth different from telemedicine?

Now that we have discussed the different forms of care and services that are offered by telehealth and telemedicine, you might have questions regarding how these two forms of healthcare are related. 


  • Telehealth is the broader field of any form of healthcare that is applied through telecommunication software. 
  • It includes health information/care services and healthcare education. 
  • Any form of education that is related to healthcare and delivered online comes under the umbrella of telehealth. 
  • Some examples of telehealth include remote monitoring, checking vital signs, and remote physician appointments via telecommunication technology. 
  • Telehealth allows patients to be educated on their current health status, as well as enabling them to be seen, treated, and diagnosed. 


  • Telemedicine is a form of telehealth. 
  • It refers to the direct delivery of services from a healthcare provider to their patient via some form of telecommunication technology.
  • The most common form of telemedicine is video conferencing, but it can also include messaging, emailing, and audio-only phone calls. 
  • Telemedicine allows patients who may live remotely or have accessibility issues to receive various forms of healthcare. This is especially important for people who need specialist help and have no access to these healthcare providers. 
  • It also includes the remote sharing of medical imaging, medical diagnosis, evaluations, and treatments. 
How is telehealth different from telemedicine?
Benefits of telehealth

Benefits of telehealth

As telehealth becomes increasingly popular, we are beginning to see the various benefits it has for both patients and healthcare providers. Most obviously, telehealth services remove accessibility and cost-related barriers that prevent patients from seeking healthcare. In the current climate, where the risk of contracting COVID-19 is restricting many people’s movements, telehealth encourages limited exposure and decreases this risk significantly. Virtual healthcare is also proving to be highly efficient, and leading to shorter wait times and greater flexibility over scheduling appointments. 

These effects are also benefiting healthcare providers. Telehealth leads to cuts in overhead costs and improved workflow efficiency. Furthermore, most telehealth platforms are integrated with various features, including video conferencing, appointment scheduling, medical billing, and clinical documentation. With all of the data and information that your practice requires access to in a single platform, you can streamline administrative tasks and focus more time and energy on delivering high-quality healthcare to patients in need. 

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