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About TeleHealth and Telebehavioral Health

A doctor sitting in front of a monitor

What is TeleHealth?

Telehealth is defined as the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support and promote long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration. Technologies include videoconferencing, the internet, store-and-forward imaging, streaming media, and terrestrial and wireless communications (courtesy HRSA). Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

TeleHealth Applications Include:

  • Synchronous (Live) Videoconferencing: A two-way audiovisual link between a patient and a care provider.
  • Asynchronous (Store-and-Forward) Videoconferencing: Transmission of a recorded health information to a health practitioner, usually a specialist.
  • Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM): The use of connected electronic tools to record personal health and medical data in one location for review by a provider in another location, usually at a different time.
  • Mobile Health (mHealth): Health care and public health information provided through mobile devices. The information may include general educational information, targeted texts, and notifications about disease outbreaks.

What is Telebehavioral Health?

Telebehavioral Health, a form of synchronous telehealth, is the process of providing behavioral health care from a distance, usually using videoconferencing technology. This can involve intakes, psychiatric evaluations, therapy (individual, group, family), patient education, and medication management.

Benefits of Telebehavioral Health include:

  • Improving access to mental health specialty care that might not otherwise be available (e.g., in rural areas)
  • Bringing care to the patient's location
  • Helping integrate behavioral health care and primary care, leading to better outcomes
  • Reducing the need for trips to the emergency room
  • Reducing delays in care
  • Improving continuity of care and follow-up
  • Reducing the need for time off work, childcare services, etc. to access appointments far away
  • Reducing potential transportation barriers, such as lack of transportation or the need for long drives
  • Reducing the barrier of stigma


The American Psychiatric Association offers information and a toolkit Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving  on practicing telepsychiatry.