Telemedicine refers to the use of medical information provided by (or between) healthcare professionals to patients via electronic means such as e-mail, text messaging, video conferencing / webcams, and mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
Doctors are increasingly implementing telemedicine in their practices to provide and receive information from patients electronically without the need for a face-to-face consultation or phone call, and they’re also using telemedicine procedures to collaborate with other doctors through telemedicine to provide accurate and timely advice and diagnoses for health issues.
The definition of telemedicine also includes the use of electronic devices and apps by consumers to monitor important health indicators and vital signs such as heart rate and blood pressure, and the means for automatically sending this information electronically to their doctors.
Telemedicine vs. Health Information Technology
A related term to telemedicine is health information technology (HIT), but the two differ in that health information technology typically refers only to an exchange of medical records electronically, whereas telemedicine involves medical communication and advice exchanged via electronic communications between the doctor and patient or between doctors.