Breaking Down the Jargon: A Glossary of Telehealth Terminology for Seniors

Telehealth has become an integral part of modern healthcare, offering convenience and accessibility to patients of all ages. However, for older adults who may be less familiar with the technology and terminology, navigating the world of telehealth can be overwhelming. To bridge this gap and empower older adults to confidently engage in telehealth services, it is essential to break down the jargon and provide a clear understanding of key telehealth terminology. Luckily, we’re here to help.

Typical Telehealth Terminology

  • Telehealth: The use of technology to provide remote healthcare services and consultations, allowing patients and healthcare providers to connect virtually without the need for in-person visits. (Source: American Telemedicine Association
  • Video visit/Video consultation: A telehealth appointment that takes place over a secure video call, allowing patients and healthcare providers to see and interact with each other in real-time, simulating an in-person visit. (Source: Mayo Clinic)
  • Telemedicine: A subset of telehealth that specifically refers to the use of technology for medical consultations and diagnoses, including virtual visits and remote monitoring of patients' health. (Source: World Health Organization)
  • Virtual waiting room: A digital space where patients wait for their telehealth appointments to begin. Similar to a physical waiting room, it allows patients to check-in and wait for their turn to be seen by the healthcare provider. (Source: HealthIT.gov)
  • Remote monitoring: The use of technology to collect and transmit patient health data from a distance. This can include devices that track vital signs, such as blood pressure or heart rate, and transmit the data to healthcare providers for monitoring and analysis. (Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)
  • E-visit: An electronic visit that allows patients to communicate with healthcare providers through secure messaging platforms, providing a convenient and asynchronous way to seek medical advice and address non-emergency concerns. (Source: American Academy of Family Physicians)
  • Telepharmacy: The provision of pharmaceutical care and medication-related services through telecommunication technology, allowing pharmacists to remotely review and manage patients' medications. (Source: Pharmacy Times)
  • Consent: The process of obtaining permission from a patient to participate in telehealth services, ensuring that they understand the benefits, risks, and privacy considerations associated with remote healthcare. (Source: American Medical Association)
  • Bandwidth: The capacity of an internet connection to transmit data. Sufficient bandwidth is essential for a smooth and uninterrupted telehealth experience. (Source: Federal Communications Commission)
  • Patient portal: A secure online platform that allows patients to access their medical records, schedule appointments, communicate with healthcare providers, and view test results. (Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

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