Telehealth technology falls into several categories. First, there’s the critical communication technology. This is the technology used to connect the endpoints of the Telehealth encounter.
There are several options. The classic H.323 connections are probably the best-known technologies, connecting videoconferencing equipment via secure, encrypted, often dedicated connections. Recently, Internet-based systems have stated to take market share. These systems use the commodity Internet to transmit data and are often less expensive than the videoconferencing equipment that was the standard for several years.
We suggest that if you are considering the Internet-based solutions, you investigate their ability to comply with HIPAA regulations regarding the security of Protected Health Information (PHI), as the level of HIPAA compatibility is often unclear with some solutions.
Second, Telehealth Technology includes instruments and cameras used to measure and transmit patient information. Whether these be digital stethoscopes, otoscopes, retinal cameras, or other devices, selecting the right equipment is a challenge. We suggest you take a look at the Telehealth Technology Assessment Telehealth Resource Center (TTAC). Our colleagues at TTAC will be happy to help you learn to evaluate equipment to meet your network’s special needs.