Methods and modalities in telehealth and telemedicine

Telehealth requires a strong, reliable broadband connection. As broadband infrastructure has improved, telehealth usage has become more widely feasible. Healthcare delivery can come within four distinct domains: live video (synchronous), store-and-forward (asynchronous), remote patient monitoring, and mobile health.

Store and forward

Store-and-forward telemedicine involves acquiring medical data (such as medical images, and biosignals) and transmitting them to a medical specialist at a for assessment offline. It does not require the presence of both parties at the same time. Dermatology, radiology, and pathology are common specialties that are conducive to asynchronous telemedicine. A properly structured medical record preferably in electronic form should be a component of this transfer. The ‘store-and-forward’ process requires the clinician to rely on a history report and audio/video information in lieu of a physical examination.

Remote monitoring
Telehealth Blood Pressure Monitor

Remote monitoring, also known as self-monitoring or testing, enables medical professionals to monitor a patient remotely using various technological devices. This method is primarily used for managing chronic diseases or specific conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes mellitus, or asthma. These services can provide comparable health outcomes to traditional in-person patient encounters, supply greater satisfaction to patients, and may be cost-effective. Examples include home-based nocturnal dialysis and improved joint management.

Real-time interactive

Electronic consultations are possible through interactive telemedicine services that provide real-time interactions between patient and provider. Videoconferencing has been used in a wide range of clinical disciplines and settings for various purposes including management, diagnosis, counseling, and monitoring of patients.

Videotelephony

Videotelephony comprises the technologies for the reception and transmission of audio-video signals by users at different locations, for communication between people in real-time.

At the dawn of the technology, videotelephony also included image phones which would exchange still images between units every few seconds over conventional POTS-type telephone lines, essentially the same as slow scan TV systems. Currently, videotelephony is particularly useful to the deaf and speech-impaired who can use them with sign language and also with a video relay service, and well as to those with mobility issues or those who are located in distant places and are in need of telemedical or tele-educational services.

References

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“What is Telehealth?”. The Center for Connected Health Policy.

 Sachpazidis I (10 Jul 2008). Image and Medical Data Communication Protocols for Telemedicine and Teleradiology (dissertation) (PDF) (Thesis). Darmstadt, Germany: Department of Computer Science, Technical University of Darmstadt. Retrieved 14 Aug 2018.

 Salehahmadi Z, Hajialiasghari F (January 2013). “Telemedicine in iran: chances and challenges”. World Journal of Plastic Surgery. 2 (1): 18–25. PMC 4238336. PMID 25489500.

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 Koutras C, Bitsaki M, Koutras G, Nikolaou C, Heep H (17 August 2015). “Socioeconomic impact of e-Health services in major joint replacement: A scoping review”. Technology and Health Care. 23 (6): 809–17. doi:10.3233/THC-151036. PMID 26409523.

 Fatehi F, Armfield NR, Dimitrijevic M, Gray LC (October 2014). “Clinical applications of videoconferencing: a scoping review of the literature for the period 2002-2012”. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare. 20 (7): 377–83. doi:10.1177/1357633X14552385. PMID 25399998. S2CID 39080490.

 McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Engineering. Videotelephony, McGraw-Hill, 2002. Retrieved from the FreeDictionary.com website, January 9, 2010

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