Page 6 - Senior Times South Central Michigan October 2020 - 27-10
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Page 6 Senior Times - October 2020
 TELEHEALTH – VIRTUAL DOCTOR VISIT
By: Sherii Sherban, Publisher
  The last six months have been a strain on the medical system, not to mention those needing care. Fear has given way to reduced medical visits, even for those that may need regular contact and follow up with their provid- ers. Telehealth has moved forward in its use to become a solution.
has become sort of an overarching term for all health care services that are delivered remotely. Today, “Almost anything can be conducted” via a virtual visit, England says.
Though telehealth is naturally devised for services that don’t require a physical exam- ination, there are still options for remote monitoring of patients.
  Telehealth can be just what the doctor ordered for those that have access to technolo- gy and a willingness to give it a try. You may be considering it yourself but aren’t quite sure what to expect. Elaine K. Howley addressed this recently and I have included part of her research here.
the two terms are different they are often used interchangeably nowadays. You may have also heard some of the following terms as well:
Clearly certain types of visits may be more amenable to a telehealth model; those that don’t require a physical exam, as an example, or in-office diagnostic testing. Even dentistry has some partial telehealth options. However, more involved lab work results, studies, a referral
 Interestingly enough, the concept of tele- health first surfaced back in 1879 in the Lancet Medical Journal. Why you might wonder? It was just three years after Alexander Graham Bell’s invention that changed the world of communication forever. The idea presented at that time was to use the telephone to reduce unnecessary office or home visits.
Virtual visit is a term that typically means there is a live, two-way verbal and visual con- versation.
to a specialist, or a face-to-face visit may still be necessary later, but that can come after the remote gathering of the important medical history.
is exploding in popularity. While technically
William England, director of the Office
for the Advancement of Telehealth in the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy at Health Resources & Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, says that while many of these terms are still in use, “Somewhere in the mid- 2000s, we started to call it all telehealth,” which
• Medication management – For people with chronic conditions that require prescription medication, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, a routine check in is often neces- sary. Prescription renewals can be addressed
Remote patient monitoring uses digital tools to collect medical and other health data and transmit it to a health care provider. It may be as simple as a smart watch or phone.
Some situations where telehealth can be especially useful include:
• Follow up appointments. Primary care and
 What is telehealth? It is a method of com- municating with your medical providers with the use of technology right from your home, office, or wherever you might be, and in turn receiving medical advice or instruction.
We’ve come a long way since the use of the telephone to communicate, such as the intro- duction of cameras to be able to see the person you are talking with. As technology continues to develop and become even more user friend- ly, especially for older adults, the push to offer more services remotely has increased, and today, telehealth (often called telemedicine)
MHealth refers specifically to health care services delivered via a mobile device.
urgent care where the provider is following up a previous visit or checking in with the patient to determine whether more direct care is nec- essary. If medications are needed, the prescrib- er may be able to send a prescription directly to the pharmacy.
EHealth is a catch-all term that is electronic-based health information and ser- vices. Many of you may have already created online accounts to view your electronic medical records, where you can review results and pos- sibly appointments.
• Counseling and education – Services that require counseling and education, such as dia- betes management can be done individually or in group settings, such as through Zoom.
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