The terms telemedicine, telecare, and telehealth are commonly misunderstood to be interchangeable. Whereas, each term refers to a different means of administering healthcare via existing technologies or a different area of technology. The differences between these three terms are as follows:


The term telehealth involves health information services, health care education, and health care services in a vast sense. Telecare and telemedicine are included in the broader extent of telehealth. It pertains to the administration of health-related services and information through electronic information and telecommunication technologies. It covers a wide range of remote healthcare services to provide patient care and improve the healthcare delivery system. Telehealth technology enables remote diagnoses and evaluation of patients apart from the ability to remote detection of fluctuations in the medical condition of the patient at home so that the medications or the particular therapy can be changed accordingly. 

Such as provider training, administrative meetings, and continuing medical education, it pertains to non-clinical services. It uses electronic information and telecommunication technologies, including video-conferencing, store-and-forward imaging, streaming media, and wireless communication, to enable long-distance clinical healthcare, patient and professional health-related education, public health, and so on. It includes services given by nurses, pharmacists, or social workers, for instance, professionals who help with patient health education, social support and medication adherence, and troubleshooting health issues for patients and their caregivers. It allows remotely prescribed treatments. 

For instance, it includes health education services, remote monitoring of vital signs, ECG or blood pressure, and remote doctor-patient consultations. 


The term Telecare pertains to technology that allows patients to retain their independence and safety while staying in their own homes. It is a form of remote care for the elderly and physically less able people. It provides the care and reassurance required to enable them to remain living in their own homes. This technology involves mobile monitoring devices, medical alert systems, and telecommunications such as computers and phones. Continuous remote monitoring of patients allows it to trace lifestyle changes over time as well as getting alerts relating to real-time emergencies. 

For instance, telecare may comprise consumer-oriented health and fitness applications, sensors and tools that connect consumers with family members or other caregivers, exercise tracking tools, digital medication reminder systems or early warning and detection technologies. It involves using wearable devices and sensors, which can provide support for people with illnesses such as dementia, or people at risk of falling. Mobile telecare is an emerging service where the state of the art mobile devices with roaming SIMs are utilized to allow a client to step outside their home but have a 24/7 service accessible to support them.


The term Telemedicine has a narrower extent than that of telehealth as it is its subset that refers only to remote clinical healthcare services. It refers more specifically to the provision of all kinds of medical, diagnostic, and treatment-related services usually by doctors through the use of telecommunications technology without an in-person visit. It is used for follow-up visits, chronic conditions management, medication management, specialist consultation, and other services that can be delivered remotely through video conferencing. It helps in lessening clinic or hospital visit and hospitalization rate. In this way, it augments the market growth. It offers extraordinary potential for delivering faster, better, less costly, and more convenient care. For instance, this comprises conducting diagnostic tests, closely monitoring a patient’s progress after treatment or therapy, and facilitating access to specialists not located in the same place as the patient.

All three of these terms are usually – but not always – used interchangeably.  They can have different meanings depending on the professional you ask.  And that’s specifically why you should ask your doctor, your insurance provider, your nurse, anyone who’s part of your health and care universe.

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