What is the difference between mHealth, eHealth, telehealth, and telemedicine?
The digital health world has seen massive growth over the last year. It’s important to understand what various virtual healthcare terms mean. eHealth, mHealth, telehealth, and telemedicine are used to describe the use of mobile and desktop technology for patient management. These terms are used interchangeably at times, however they each represent a different aspect of technology and healthcare.
Both mHealth and eHealth play a role in supporting healthcare with electronics. They both perform similar functions, however the means by which the information is provided is the primary difference.
mHealth utilizes mobile devices, such as a cellphone or a tablet, to support healthcare practices. With mHealth services, patients are able to log, store, and monitor their health records on their personal mobile devices. These applications are helpful in improving the efficiency of the delivery of healthcare information. mHealth applications can be helpful in research, and practitioner and patient use.
On the other hand, eHealth consists of a much broader understanding of healthcare practices supported by electronic processes. The technology used to improve healthcare practices with eHealth include electronic health records, patient administration systems, lab systems, and other records that cannot be stored within mobile health applications. To conclude, eHealth carries a much broader definition than mHealth.
The difference between telehealth and telemedicine.
These terms are typically confused with one another and used interchangeably. However, like eHealth and mHealth one term serves a broader purpose. The broader term in this comparison is telehealth. Telehealth refers to both clinical and remote non-clinical services, including providing training and continued medical education for practitioners.
Telemedicine, on the other hand, is solely referring to remote clinical service. The entire concept of telemedicine was started to treat patients who are located in remote areas. Throughout the ongoing global pandemic, it has served a greater purpose – providing people access to care without putting themselves at risk of contracting COVID-19. As more people gain access to these services, expectations around waiting room times, access to care, and convenience of care are changing.
Understanding the ways the terms work together to create the big picture of virtual healthcare is important to understanding your access to care. The aim of all of these services is to provide greater quality, efficiency, and cost of care to both practitioners and patients. Each plays their unique role in crafting a well-rounded digital healthcare plan for patients.
At SBMA, we believe in providing our clients with the most affordable, efficient benefits that are tailored to the needs of their employees. Telemedicine services integrate seamlessly into your benefits package to ensure your employees remain healthy and happy.