How Can I Use It?
The boundaries of telehealth are limited only by the technology available - new applications are being invented and tested every day. The following list of resources is by no-means all-inclusive, but rather a sampling of some of the more common telehealth applications.
Chronic Disease Prevention and Management
Chronic diseases – such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis – are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems in the U.S. Here you will find ways that telehealth can be used to prevent and help improve the management of chronic diseases.
Convenience, immediate updates on a patient’s condition and the ability to link specialists to patients at different locations have helped spur the growth of telehealth and encouraged its assimilation into the overall care of military personnel and veterans. Here you will find resources regarding telehealth applications being tested and used to provide better care for our servicemen/women and veterans.
Pediatric includes health promotion, disease prevention, health maintenance, counseling, patient education, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses in a variety of health care settings (e.g., office, inpatient, critical care, home care, day care, etc.). Here you will find ways that telehealth can be used to facilitate the delivery of health care services for infants, children and adolescents.
Primary care includes health promotion, disease prevention, health maintenance, counseling, patient education, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses in a variety of health care settings (e.g., office, inpatient, critical care, long-term care, home care, day care, etc.). Primary care include geriatrics, internal medicine, and women's health. Here you will find ways that telehealth can be used to facilitate and enhance the delivery of primary care services.
Remote Monitoring/Home Telehealth
Remote monitoring/home telehealth allows the delivery of health care to move from a model of episodic care to one of continuous monitoring. A common use of remote monitoring is for a patients with one or more chronic conditions, such as congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias, diabetes, pulmonary diseases and the need for anticoagulation. There is extensive evidence that remote monitoring can improve health outcomes and reduce costs from unnecessary hospital admissions, lengths of stay, and visits to emergency room and physician offices. Here you will find resources regarding remote monitoring/home telehealth.
Telehealth is a valuable tool to complement and expand the capacity of schools to meet the health care needs of children. Not only can telehealth help keep children healthier, but it can help keep them in school, as appropriate, and their parents at work. Here you will find resources regarding school telehealth
Teledentistry is a tool that has the potential to reduce costs, improve quality, change the conditions of practice, and facilitate access to oral health care in rural and other underserved areas. Here you will find resources regarding teledentistry.
Dermatologists are in short supply and are geographically maldistributed, creating a lack of access to care for patients in many parts of the country. Teledermatology provides a means of access to care for many patients currently denied specialist attention. Here you will find resources regarding teledermatology.
Home telehospice delivers some of the usual hospice services now provided in patients' homes through remote communications tools. By using telehealth, nurses and others on the hospice care team can significantly increase their contact level with their patients and the patients' caregivers. Here you can find resources about telehospice.
The terms "tele-ICU", and "eICU" refer to the same care concept; a centralized or remotely based critical care team is networked with the bedside ICU team and patient via state-of-the-art audiovisual communication and computer systems. The tele-ICU team can provide surveillance and support for a large number of ICU patients in disparate geographical locations for multiple hospitals. Here you will find resources regarding tele-ICU/e-ICU.
Limited access to specialty mental health services is prevalent, particularly in rural and other underserved areas and populations. Here you will find resources regarding issues and considerations for using telehealth to improve the accessibility and quality of mental health care.
Teleradiology is the ability to send radiographic images from one location to another so that they can be viewed for diagnostic or consultative purpose. Teleradiology is one of the most widely used applications of telehealth in hospital and healthcare settings. Here you will find resources about teleradiology.
Telerehabilitation involves applying computer-based technologies and telecommunications to improve access to rehabilitation services and support independent living. Telepractice is the use of technology to provide speech therapy and offers the potential to extend clinical services to remote, rural, and underserved populations, and to culturally and linguistically diverse populations. Here you will find resources regarding telerehabilitation and telepractice.
The most promising treatment for ischemic strokes, which occur in 87 percent of cases, is a clot-busting drug called a tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). tPA must be administered within three hours of stroke onset and cannot be used for hemorrhagic (open vessel) stroke patients for whom the risk of intracerebral hemorrhage, a serious and sometimes fatal complication, is much higher. As a result, tPA use is limited to stroke centers staffed by specialist stroke neurologists, primarily located in larger urban and academic medical centers. Telemedicine technology for stroke, known as “tele-stroke,” allows community hospitals to access the expertise of the stroke centers and provide enhanced stroke care, most notably the administration of the critical tPA therapy. Here you can find resources about telestroke.
Teletrauma/Emergency Medicine Telehealth
Trauma victims in rural areas are nearly twice as likely to die from their injuries than people in more urban areas. The integration of telehealth into trauma care may help to improve patient outcomes. Here you will find resources regarding teletrauma/emergency medicine telehealth.