News from Canada is not frequent, but we’ll cover as it happens. Here’s a release from Polycom with developments in its telemedicine networking solutions that link hospitals, doctors and community clinics. Since video communication with specialists is its key feature, it is not ‘telehealth’, although it is used repeatedly in the article. Demand is quoted as being up 20-40%/year. It is also positioned as a key part of how Ontario is attempting to cope with its shortage of doctors.
New–their Chief Collaboration Officer (a new name for marketer?), Bob Preston, had an interesting blog entry Doctor/Patient Collaboration with Telemedicine which discusses the shortages in family practitioners and integrating video conferencing into consultations in rural hospitals and clinics.
When is telehealth not telehealth?
Telehealth is used in Canada as an all encompassing term to include all forms of distance communication in the delivery of health care (including education for professionals and public). It ranges from telecare, to 24/7 nurse help lines, to high-end video conferencing as described in this press release from Polycom.
The term telemedicine is trademarked in Canada and cannot be used without express permission. Hence the use of the term telehealth.