Meaning. In times of obligatory distance, online processing of health / medical services appears to be a valuable alternative to personal care in ordinances and hospitals. The two terms are often confused with each other or used in the same way because of their similarity, but they are clearly distinct from each other:
Telemedicineis limited primarily to clinical diagnosis and monitoring. In contrast, the telehealthsector is expanding to include technology, service and education.
The advantages of the new e-services are evident: they enable online measurement of important vital parameters, prescription issuance and medication administration, professional care and nursing via video telephony, etc. – and all this from home. In particular, the use of video consultations and visits has proven effective:
In view of the current Corona crisis, not only doctors and nurses, but likewise (separated) families are optimally supported. e-Health solutions from the AAL(Active Assisted Living) sector such as JAMES Video protect against infections in volatile times and provide significant added value to real estate / chronically ill patients by saving them the arduous trip to the doctor’s office. This trend already seems to be strongly represented in the USA:
According to a study by the U.S. website AMD Global Telemedicine, 79% of pantients prefer to make medical appointments online than on-site. In addition, 70% now prefer online consulations. However, the European telemedicine and telehealth market is also growing rapidly: the European telemedicine market is currently worth $9.93 billion and is expected to grow to $19.2 billion by 2024 – that’s 14.1% per year.*
The primary market drivers are considered to be:
- demographic change
- Cost savings
- Quality improvement
- efficient supply in rural areas
- Staff shortage
- as well as the care of chronic diseases
Within the German healthcare sector, the doors to telemedicine and telehealth already seem to be opening: Currently, six new focal points are planned, which are to be further advanced in the coming weeks and months and subsequently implemented in the healthcare system.
Despite the global popularity, both telemedicine and telehealth face hurdles that still need to be overcome for the time being. For example, misdiagnosis can occasionally occur, which can also happen in a face-to-face setting, but negatively taints online consults specifically. In addition, implementation and widespread sales appear to make integration into health care systems difficult. In view of global pandemics, the aging of society, staff shortages, etc., telemedicine and telehealth will, however, become more important and necessary in the future.