Significance. In times of obligatory distance, online processing of health/medical services appears to be a valuable alternative to personal care in ordinances and hospitals. Due to their similarity, the two terms are often confused with each other or taken to mean the same thing, but they are clearly distinguishable from each other:
Telehealth is limited primarily to clinical diagnosis and monitoring. In contrast, the telehealth sector is expanding to include technology, service and education.
The advantages of the new e-services are evident: they allow online measurement of important vital parameters, prescription issuance and medication administration, professional care and nursing via videotelephony, etc. - and all this from home. In particular, the use of video consults and visits has proven to be effective:
In view of the current Corona crisis, not only doctors and caregivers, 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 offer 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 patients prefer to make medical appointments online rather than on-site. In addition, 70% now prefer online consultations. However, the European telemedicine and -health market is also growing rapidly: the European telemedicine market is currently worth USD 9.93 billion and is expected to grow to USD 19.2 billion by 2024 - that is 14.1% per year.*
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, there may be occasional misdiagnoses, which can also happen in a face-to-face setting, but have a negative impact on online consultations in particular. In addition, implementation and widespread sales appear to make integration into healthcare systems difficult. In view of global pandemics, the aging of society, staff shortages, etc., telemedicine and telehealth will become more important and necessary in the future.