Telehealth is “the use of communications and information technology to deliver health services and exchange health information when distance separates the participants.”[Elford, 1998].
Many technologies are used for telehealth including: telephones, videophones, personal computers (PCs), videoconferencing systems, store and forward systems (S&F) and specialized telehealth workstations.
A telehealth system is made of the following components:
- Hardware, e.g. computer, workstation and peripherals. Peripheral devices are the devices that are connected to a workstation and allow the local health professional to capture clinical images, video, sounds and vitals, such as otoscope, electronic stethoscope, and general exam camera.
- Software installed on the workstation,
- Database to store patient information,
- Network or telecommunications link,
- Humans e.g. users, clinicians and patients,
- Policies and protocols.