Differences between telehealth and telecare

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Telecare is clearly merging with telehealth as both popularity and technology continues to advance and here you can read more about what is telehealth. The benefits they both provide individuals’ and their families as well as healthcare industries is significantly important.

The services they both provided help manage conditions at home alleviating pressure and demand on the NHS, whilst ensuring patient safety. But it is important to remember the difference between them, why they work well, and how they merge together.

  • Telehealth – uses a wide range of technology and services for healthcare professionals to improve healthcare delivery. It includes non-clinical services as well as clinical including: provider training, administrative meetings, and medical education.
  • Telecare – uses communication technology to provide support from a distance and unlike telehealth or telemedicine it is continuous and automatic.
  • Telemedicine – is a subset of telehealth that concentrates on clinical electronic communications and software instead of in-person consultations. It helps reduce waiting times by offering virtual visits for a variety of appointments including: follow-ups and medication management.

Telecare Services:

Telecare services, equipment, and monitoring can differ depending on both the specific products and an individuals’ needs. The 24/7 monitoring allows activations to be escalated quickly and automatically to the agreed responder and there are a variety of products people can choose from:

  • Sensors – fall detectors, bed and chair occupancy sensors
  • Alarms – personal alarms such as pendants or bracelets
  • Key-safes
  • Smoke detectors

Sensors:

  • Reduce common issues by sensing the persons environment and activate when unusual behaviour happens
  • Track and monitor locations in the house and highlight any unusual length of time spent in one room like the bathroom
  • Bed sensors – can activate signals when someone hasn’t returned to bed after a predetermined time and are very useful if an individual is prone to falling.
  • Fall detectors – can send alerts when an individual has fallen no matter where they are in the house to initiate help is needed

Alarms:

  • Provides a simple set up and can easily be plugged into sockets and work within 24 hours of ordering
  • They often provide a powerful microphone and speaker to allow the user to converse with the 24/7 monitoring centre
  • Pendants and bracelets – can be worn and easily activate an alarm if assistance is needed. They are small and discreet and give someone the required help with a click of a button. Majority are waterproof meaning it does not have to be removed when having a bath or shower.

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