TeleHealth vs Telemedicine: A Quick Differentiation

With the evolution of technology, the healthcare industry has undergone drastic changes. Some of these alterations have increased the convenience of seeking treatment, while others have reduced the communication gap, which previously existed between a physician and his/her patients.

Both telemedicine and tele health refers to such technological advances, which greatly influenced and improved the healthcare sector in India as a whole. Still, one must not confuse these two terms, as they mean completely different things. Although most individuals use tele health and telemedicine interchangeably, there is a distinction between them.

To appreciate this difference, one must first understand what each of these means. Listed below is the definition of the two along with appropriate examples for both.

What is telemedicine?

Telemedicine refers to the delivery of healthcare and diagnostic services using telecommunication devices only. Generally, telemedicine is provided by doctors to their patients. In simpler terms, telemedicine refers to doctor consultations that take place over a phone call, video call, message or emails. 

One can classify telemedicine as only a part of tele health since the latter encompasses much more than simply providing healthcare services to patients. Nevertheless, here are some examples of telemedicine that should ease one’s understanding of the matter.

  • Radiology is one of the fields where telemedicine usage is common. In most cases, a CT report is electronically shared with the physician. The physician, in this case, notes his/her findings and passes them on to the requesting doctor digitally.
  • Similarly, in the field of dermatology, the patient may need to undergo diagnostic tests. The images from these tests are again shared electronically with dermatologists, who then share their opinions accordingly. Based on the findings, the primary care doctor decides whether the patient in question needs an appointment.

As you can see, telemedicine has the potential to reduce patient queues in clinics and hospitals. If you are worried about the expenses involved with such technologically advanced forms of healthcare, you can avail of a Bajaj Finserv Digital Health EMI Network Card.

What is tele health?

Simply understanding telemedicine is not enough. One must also understand the scope of tele health to appreciate the distinction between the two. It also concerns healthcare services and telecommunication. However, in this case, the scope is much greater. It not only includes services proffered by doctors to patients but additional healthcare services as well. Therefore, apart from telemedicine, this branch includes training and administrative services in the healthcare sector too.

The following examples of these services should help you distinguish between the two better – 

  • A common example of tele health services is the delivery of medication at the patient’s doorstep. Today, one can easily order necessary drugs to his/her doorstep through online orders or via a call. This service does not involve any interaction between doctors and patients but instead uses telecommunication to establish contact between pharmacies and patients.
  • Another valid example is the use of various mobile applications to monitor the health of an individual. Such apps can help an average patient understand when they need to consult a doctor. Some applications may also allow an individual to set reminders on when to take their medication.

Thus, one can say that telemedicine is a part of tele health, whereby the latter is an umbrella term that includes several other healthcare services. Nevertheless, regardless of whether an individual chooses telemedicine or regular healthcare, the expenses related to the same can be challenging to bear due to an increasing cost of healthcare. A health card can help you fulfil such costs conveniently.

Why avail a health card for treatment?

An individual should apply for a health card to limit immediate financial liabilities from medical expenses and pay in via easy no-cost EMIs over a tenor of up to 24 months. One can look for the following benefits from such financial products – 

  • Zero documentation

During a medical emergency, you cannot sit around gathering documents for submission. This health card thus does not require you to provide any documents during your application. If you are an existing Bajaj Finserv EMI Network member, the NBFC already possesses all your details and thereby does not need the same documents a second time around, thus enabling instant approval.

  • Easy to meet eligibility criteria

An individual can easily meet health card eligibility. To avail this card, you only need to be between 23 and 60 years of age with a stable income. Fulfilling this requirement, you can get a health card with a pre-approved funding limit of up to Rs.4 lakh. Also, a one-time payment of Rs.707 is required for the insta variant, whereas the non-insta variant requires you to pay Rs.589 only. Not to mention, the card provides funding for treatment of more than 800 health conditions.

  • One card covers the entire family

These cards do not limit coverage to just the individual cardholder. Instead, the same facilities are extended to his/her family members as well. For instance, if you avail such a card, your spouse, children, siblings, and parents can also utilise its various benefits. Over 5,500 partner healthcare facilities across 1,000 plus Indian cities only make it more useful to fund medical expenses conveniently.

An individual, planning to avail tele health services can obtain a health card and convert his/her medical bills into EMIs. Such consultations with a doctor can also reveal underlying diseases in the body, treating which may require hefty sums of money. If that is the case, such a card can be of immense help.

Shailendra Kumar

DA50+Guest Post sites