Telehealth and Telemedicine

Looking for information on Telemedicine and Coronavirus?

Telemedicine and virtual care have quickly become important tools in caring for your patients while keeping yourself and your staff safe as the COVID-19 pandemic quickly evolves.  

Overview of telemedicine

Telemedicine is the use of medical information that is exchanged from one site to another through electronic communications. It includes varying types of processes and services intended to enrich the delivery of medical care and improve the health status of patients.

Some of these processes and services include:

  • Subspecialists' consultations and may involve the patient "seeing" the subspecialist during a live, remote consult. It may also include the transmission of diagnostic images or video that the specialist reviews later.
  • Using electronic communications that collect and send information to foster remote patient monitoring, such as vital signs or blood glucose levels. Monitoring of this nature assists homebound patients or care-coordination between providers.

Closely associated with Telemedicine is the term "telehealth," which is often used to encompass a broader definition of remote health care that does not always involve clinical services." Videoconferencing, transmission of still images, e-health including patient portals, nurse call centers, and remotely tracking vitals are all considered part of telemedicine or telehealth.


Recent AAFP Communications

Joint Communications with Other Organizations

Joint Letter to Congress Calling on Legislation that Supports and Sustains Physicians During COVID-19 Outbreak - March 20, 2020(2 page PDF)

 

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