Differences between telehealth and telecare

eHealthGreetings everyone. This is the first post of a new project that we hope will be interesting for all of you. A blog dedicated to telecare, telehealth (also know as telemedicine) and overall about the new technologies applied to public health.

Why a blog about telecare and telemedicine?

The increase in life expectancy and the emergence of more chronic diseases have made the health needs of our societies have changed considerably in recent decades, placing our national health systems in serious difficulties, both economic and service provision.

It is at this juncture that the new technologies are very important as tools to achieve greater efficiency in treatment to patients and savings for health systems.

Therefore, we believe it is important that everyone have accurate information about these technologies, so you can evaluate them properly.

Differences between telecare and telemedicine?

The first thing to ask is what is the difference between telemedicine and telecare, two terms used more and more, but they are often confused.

In the article “Telecare for an ageing population” published by Oxford University Press, Stuart G. Parker and Mark S. Hawley give us a good explanation about this issue.

“In the simplest terms, Telehealth includes remote patient monitoring in which sensors and electronic questionnaires are used to monitor vital health signs and symptoms remotely (usually in the person’s home) and transmit data to an appropriately trained person who can make decisions about potential interventions, without the patient needing to attend a clinic. The effect of telehealth interventions may, therefore, be expected to be seen in supporting patients to manage their own conditions in their own home and in reduced dependence on traditional primary or secondary care outpatient services, elective and non-elective hospital admissions.

Telecare, on the other hand, generally refers to the use of personal and environmental sensors in the home with the aim of enabling people to remain safe and maintaining independence, avoiding institutionalisation and reducing isolation”.

In conclusion, despite the differences in both systems, these two technologies are designed to improve the quality of life of chronically ill elderly as well as to assume major cost savings and efficiency to national health systems.

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