Top 10 Tips: What is the Difference between Telehealth and Telemedicine?

Top 10 Tips: What is the Difference between Telehealth and Telemedicine?

There can be no denying that the intersection of medicine and technology has been extremely beneficial for both patients and physicians, as per discussions on the same over at However, it has also brought a lot of confusion, particularly with the terms used, with one key example being the use of the terms telehealth and telemedicine interchangeably. The truth, as revealed in discussions on the same over at, is that these two terms aren’t the same, and to drive this point home, this article will look to highlight the top 10 tips in the difference between telehealth and telemedicine.

What is Telehealth?

As per discussions on the same over at, telehealth includes a broad range of technologies and services meant to provide patient care and generally improve the healthcare delivery system. Therefore, as per the subject matter experts over at, telehealth refers to a broader scope of remote healthcare services, as compared to telemedicine, and therein lies the biggest difference between these two terms.

What is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine on the other hand, according to the gurus over at, is the subset of telehealth that deals mainly with the provision of healthcare services with the help of telecommunications technology. In short, telemedicine uses electronic communications and software to provide medical services to patients remotely, that is, without the need for an in-person visit, as is discussed over at Telemedicine, unlike telehealth, is limited to the delivery of clinical care, which is one of the ways to easily understand the difference between the two.

All telemedicine is telehealth, but the opposite is not true

A major difference between the two is that all telemedicine is telehealth, as per the folks over at, but not all telehealth is telemedicine. This is because telemedicine is sort of a subset of telehealth, which has a bigger scope and therefore means that there are certain aspects of telehealth that don’t apply to telemedicine. There may be a great overlap between the two but while all telemedicine is telehealth, not all telehealth is telemedicine.

Clinical and non-clinical services

Another main difference that is emerging from the discussions above, as far as telehealth and telemedicine are concerned, is the fact that while telemedicine refers only to clinical services, telehealth covers both clinical and non-clinical services, including provider training, administrative meetings, continuing medical education and so forth as is revealed in discussions over at the ever-reliable

Not all video conferencing is telemedicine

As per discussions on the same over at, there are 4 ways through which telehealth can be delivered: through video conferencing, store and forward, remote patient monitoring, and mobile health. One of the main differences between telehealth and telemedicine is the fact that not all video conferencing is telemedicine. An example is a video conference between a world-class neurosurgeon and a class of medical students. Given that this event is non-clinical, it is therefore not telemedicine but is telehealth.

Not all Store and Forward events are telemedicine

Store and Forward is another way through which telehealth can be delivered, as mentioned above, and it involves the transmissions of digital images, videos, pictures, or text that was recorded and stored before being sent as discussed in more detail over at While all such events are telehealth, not all of them are telemedicine in what is another difference between the two. For instance, while transmission of a patient’s X-rays as relates to an injury currently being diagnosed is telemedicine, the transmission of an academic publication to be used in a presentation to surgical residents is not telemedicine but it is telehealth.

There are certain cases when remote patient monitoring isn’t telemedicine

Most cases of remote patient monitoring are telemedicine, but not always, as per the gurus over at An example is an instance where a researcher is collecting daily step counts from a wearable device for the sole purpose of supporting a research project. Given that this is non-clinical, even though it involves remote patient monitoring, it isn’t telemedicine but is telehealth.

There are also certain cases when Mobile Health isn’t telemedicine

In the same vein, most instances of Mobile Health are telemedicine as they usually involve the interaction between a medical practitioner and a patient to support the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a disease or medical condition. However, an example of an instance where Mobile Health isn’t telemedicine is in the issuing of a community-wide alert about a disease outbreak, like say COVID-19. This, as per the folks over at, isn’t clinical care for a given recipient, and though its telehealth, it is not telemedicine.

Telehealth is a subset of E-Health

As mentioned above, telemedicine is a subset of telehealth, which means that all telemedicine is telehealth but not all telehealth is telemedicine as discussed in detail over at On the other hand, in what should help you understand the differences between the two, telehealth is a subset of E-health and therefore encompasses both delivery of clinical care as well as education and training.

Telemedicine is much older than telehealth as a term

You can also further differentiate between through the fact that telemedicine, as a term, is much older than telehealth. As is revealed in discussions on the history of the two over at, there have been references to telemedicine going way back, even in the late 1870s, with the term telehealth emerging relatively recently, as the world of E-health has broadened and expanded.

Hopefully, the above discussion will help you understand the difference between telehealth and telemedicine, with there being more information on this and other related topics over at the brilliant