What is Telehealth?


Telehealth is defined as, "the use of communications technologies to provide health care at a distance. Telehealth has become a valuable tool thanks to combined advances in communications, computer science, informatics, and medical technologies".  (US Department of Health & Human Services, 2023)

The use of telehealth has increased by 8729% during the COVID-19 pandemic (Ramaswamey et al., 2020) and telehealth continues to be a valuable modality of healthcare for many worldwide. It is essential to understand how satisfied telehealth providers are with the utlization of telehealth services. 

Modes of Telehealth

Today, telehealth encompasses four distinct applications.

  • Live Video: Live communication between a person and a provider using audiovisual telecommunications technology. Historically the most common application of telemedicine/telehealth care 
  • Store-and-Forward: Electronic transmission of medical information, such as digital images, documents, or pre-recorded videos are sent to a provider, who uses the information to evaluate the case or render a service outside of a real-time or live interaction. 
  • Remote Patient Monitoring: Personal health and medical data collection from an individual in one location is transmitted to a provider in a different location for use in care and related support. RPM can also serve to reduce the number of hospitalizations, readmissions, and lengths of stay in hospitals—all of which help improve quality of life and contain costs.
  • Mobile Health (mHealth): Health care and public health practice and education supported by mobile communication devices such as cell phones, tablet computers, and PDAs. Applications can range from targeted text messages that promote healthy behavior to wide-scale alerts about disease outbreaks.


Potential Stakeholders:

  • Patients and their families

  • Healthcare providers: doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals who provide care through telehealth.

  • Telehealth technology providers: companies that create and distribute the telehealth technology used by healthcare providers to deliver remote care.

  • Payers: insurance companies, employers, and government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

  • Regulators and policymakers: They create regulations and policies that govern telehealth, such as licensure requirements and reimbursement policies.

  • Healthcare organizations: hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities that provide telehealth services to their patients.

  • Researchers and academics: They conduct studies on telehealth outcomes and develop new technologies and approaches to improve remote care delivery