What Is Telehealth?

Telehealth refers to how health care providers can use technology to provide care and services. It includes live video visits (telemedicine), text reminders, educational videos, online food logs, patient portals, and online results from tests (for example, lab tests or radiology tests).

What Are the Benefits of Telehealth?

Telehealth can help families:

  • See a provider from home.
  • Get medical care outside of regular business hours.
  • Easily follow up with specialists (for example, after surgery).
  • See medical specialists who are far away.

Health care providers can:

  • Share medical information with patients via devices such as blood-glucose readings.
  • Help people who live in rural or isolated communities get medical care.

What Kind of Problems Can Use a Video Visit?

Video visits are also called telemedicine visits, virtual visits, or online visits. During video visits, health care providers see and talk to patients and caregivers through a mobile device, computer, or tablet.

A video visit can let them care for someone with:

They also can offer patient education in a video visit, such as showing patients how to use an asthma inhaler.

How Can I Set Up a Video Visit?

Ask your health care provider's office if they offer video visits. If they do, get set up before your child has a video visit:

  • Contact your health insurance company and ask if they cover video visits.
  • Ask your doctor's office if they charge extra for video visits or a "convenience fee."
  • Download the software/app needed for the video visit.

If your child has a video visit at a different practice, ask them to forward the information about the visit to your usual health care provider.

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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.

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