Tele-Medicine / Tele-Health

Telehealth, telemedicine, and related terms generally refer to the exchange of medical information from one site to another through electronic communication to improve a patient’s health.

TELE-MEDICINE, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is “The delivery of health care services, where distance is a critical factor by all health care professionals using information and communication technologies for the exchange of valid information for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and injuries, research and evaluation, and for the continuing education of health care providers, all in the interests of advancing the health of individuals and their communities.”

TELE-HEALTH, as defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is “The use of electronic information and telecommunication technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration.”

With the emergence of the virus causing the disease COVID19, there is an urgency to expand the use of technology to help people who need routine care. TCM is very well positioned to offer its patients continue support while they comfortably and safely rest at home. One of the oldest diagnostics tool that TCM offers is tongue diagnosis. All organs are mapped in different areas of the tongue and any markings on any of those areas represents a disharmony of that organ system. Along with the chief complaint of the patient, an accurate TCM diagnosis can be determined. 

For example, let's assume that during a telemedicine session the patient complains of severe headaches. During the intake, the patient shares that the headaches have been getting worse since the patient became unemployed two weeks ago. The patient also shares that the stress level is pretty high, and doesn't have much patience. At this point I would ask the patient to get closer to the camera of their device and to stick their tongue out. While observing their tongue I notice that the edges of their tongue are very red. Since the edges of the tongue represent the Liver, I would conclude that the headaches and stress are related and they are caused by "Liver Qi Stagnation" and I would probably prescribe the TCM herbal formula "Xiao Yao San".