Terminology: The discussion that will not die!

Long time readers of Telecare Aware will know of your editors’ abiding interest in the problems around terminology in this field. (Search ‘terminology’, above right.) Every now and again someone else has a go at it, notably Kevin Doughty and Guy Dewsbury in the UK, and now there is a recent post by Paul Williamson from Cambridge Consultants Telehealth and connected health – is there really any difference? which has sparked off another discussion, over in the Connected Health Community group in LinkedIn. Never mind if you do not have or want a LinkedIn account, it’s a discussion that isn’t going to go away any time soon.

1 thought on “Terminology: The discussion that will not die!

  1. Terminology

    The discussion around the semantics of telecare/telehealthcare will continue to be well debated in a variety of forum, fuelled by the culture differences between social care and health sectors. As discussed in the recently published Summary of Telecare Services in Scotland (JIT) Scottish Partnerships have varied interpretations of equipment and the functions of these, which has impacted on the implementation processes. I do however consider we get “bogged down” in this debate to the detriment of application. Yes there is an association between Tunstall and the use of the concept of telehealthcare. Yet should we get caught up in our prejudices when perhaps the word may best describe to the users (both practitioners and end users) what the equipment is aimed at supporting! As stated in the JIT document – “acknowledgement of the need for an integrated approach to telehealth and telecare has seen the rise of the concept of telehealthcare.

    As a concept telehealthcare offers the potential view of a wide range of interlinked remote health and social care options, utilising teleconferencing, broadband, mobile phones, home computing and the telecare infrastructure. Such equipment is able to provide users with care in their own homes, reducing the need to travel distances to obtain treatment, supporting GP’s to access specialist clinical input at a distance and providing care in remote and rural settings. Some of this equipment is built on the platform of the Community Alarm Service. Together such equipment will provide access to improved data which will support professionals, carers and users with proactive interventions and an ability to evidence practice, as will as effectively manage risks.”

Comments are closed.