What is telehealth?
Telehealth is the use of digital information and communication technologies, such as computers and mobile devices, to access health care services remotely and manage your health care. These may be technologies you use from home or that your doctor uses to improve or support health care services.
Consider, for example, the ways telehealth could help you if you have diabetes. You could do some or all of the following:
- Use a mobile phone or other device to upload food logs, medications, dosing and blood sugar levels for review by a nurse who responds electronically.
- Watch a video on carbohydrate counting and download an app for it to your phone.
- Use an app to estimate, based on your diet and exercise level, how much insulin you need.
- Use an online patient portal to see your test results, schedule appointments, request prescription refills or email your doctor.
- Order testing supplies and medications online.
- Get a mobile retinal photo screening at your doctor’s office rather than scheduling an appointment with a specialist.
- Get email, text or phone reminders when you need a flu shot, foot exam or other preventive care.
The goals of telehealth, also called e-health or m-health (mobile health), include the following:
- Make health care accessible to people who live in rural or isolated communities.
- Make services more readily available or convenient for people with limited mobility, time or transportation options.
- Provide access to medical specialists.
- Improve communication and coordination of care among members of a health care team and a patient.
- Provide support for self-management of health care.
The following examples of telehealth services may be beneficial for your health care.