The History of telehealth

When was Telehealth Invented?

Quick Summary: Seeking answers to when Telehealth was invented? It is a revolutionary healthcare practice that originated in the mid-20th century. However, it truly evolved in the 1960s when telemedicine experiments took place. Telehealth has advanced significantly, offering remote healthcare services via technology, making medical care accessible and convenient.


Telehealth has mended how healthcare professionals treat and have an eye on their patients. Although technological advancements had an impact on the adoption of Telehealth, the COVID-19 pandemic was also a contributor. Know that it was not a new term.

The health system has been using remote monitoring to treat patients for a long time. Hence, this might provoke a question: When was Telehealth Invented? Since the 1940s.

The virtual care you see today uses both hardware and software for health-related education, examination, and healthcare delivery. After the pandemic hit, medical professionals have started relying more on telehealth technology to treat them virtually.

Per a survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, telehealth visits have increased by 154% by the end of March 2020 compared to 2019. As in-person visits are less preferred these days, virtual medicine is becoming an integral part. But when did Telemedicine start? Keep reading to explore the past.

What is Telehealth?

What is Telehealth
Before knowing when was telehealth invented and who did it, it’s crucial to understand its meaning. Telehealth, often used interchangeably with Telemedicine, refers to remote non clinical services, specifically to providing remote healthcare services. It lets a provider care for a patient without needing an in-person visit.

Professionals conduct Telehealth visits through internet access and communication technologies such as tablets, phones, or computers. One tends to have several options to obtain remote clinical services, such as:

  • Consult a physician through a phone call or video chat.
  • Connect through exchanging messages with the healthcare provider using secure messaging, email, and secure file exchange.
  • Employ the facility of remote patient monitoring to ensure that the provider can check your vital data. You can use devices that share electronic information with your doctor about progress.

A person can get medical supplies and even seek different kinds of specialized medical care with Telehealth. Virtual health is crucial for people living in rural areas as it can help change medications for chronic illnesses.

Remember that often, your primary care physician will decide whether Telemedicine will work for your health needs. Here is a list of care that you can gain through Telehealth

  • Gaining access to lab tests or X-ray
  • Seeking telemedicine consultations for mental health, like online therapy
  • Dealing with recurring conditions and chronic diseases
  • Physical examination for skin conditions
  • Prescription management
  • Remote communication for follow-up visits after surgery
  • Seeking medical care for issues like stomach ache and cold
  • Facilitate remote patient monitoring for attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Remote monitoring services and electronic health records to keep track of health goals and manage chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol

When did Telehealth begin?

When did Telehealth begin
Are you caught in a tough spot and thinking about when was telehealth invented? Or what is virtual healthcare? Well, this concept of digital health has evolved drastically from house calls to urgent care centers. On-demand health care services have taken over the entire community.

Patient engagement is necessary these days, and they need 24/7 access to the doctors. Hence, physicians use it to monetize remote assistance. Technological advancements like Skype and Facetime have existed for a long time, maybe from the first half of the 20th century.

Thomas Bird coined the term Telehealth or Telemedicine was coined in the 1970s. The translation of this word goes like healing at a distance.

Later, technologies like the telegraph and telephone came into existence, adding to Telehealth services usage. Professionals and nurse practitioners these days offer telehealth services through various modes of communication. In the past, these communication technologies were human messengers that transmit data over distances.

The introduction of telegraphs and telephones further added to its usage. The invention of these technologies allowed people to transmit data over distances. But telegraphs need expertise to operate.

Hence, the civil war military was fast enough to recognize and seek benefits from telegraphs and telephones for electronic health records administration. It further led to the widespread adoption of digital health.

Read more: Types Of Telemedicine: Benefits, Types, And Examples

History of Telehealth: Overview

Early Days: when was telemedicine invented?

When was the concept of Telehealth brought to the market? Most of us think that the history of Telehealth starts from the COVID era. Virtual health system usage skyrocketed overnight during the pandemic, but it is an age-old term.

When you have a glance at the history of Telehealth, you will see there are a lot of reasons behind the innovation of Telehealth in medical facilities. These days, the majority of hospitals and clinics in the United States offer care on a virtual basis.

Although people use emerging technologies like video consultation more than regular clinic visits, this further adds to the trust issues and has led to security and trust issues. But this text is here to inform you that Telehealth technologies have been around for a long time.

Pre-internet Technologies

Pre internet Technologies
After this technology gained prominence, it has been entirely revolutionizing the whole healthcare system and industry landscape. In the past, accessing health care was challenging for rural communities with health resources and limited care options. But technology has made it all.

The constant evolution of communication technologies has added milestones for Telehealth. Remote monitoring by health care professionals has become a reality since the telegraph and telephones were invented.

But when you look into the present scenario, it is very different. They are already in use and modern-day technologies that will even take over Telehealth.

NASA & Government Funding

The race between space administration from the USSR and the US peaked in the 1960s. Both of these countries were trying hard to send a person into Space. But for this, they would have to solve the mystery of how the human body reacts in Space.

Unless the first human landed in Space, doctors were worried about how organs in the human body would react in Space. Hence, to solve this, the Soviet space program and NASA employed telemetric links to analyze animals’ vitals in Space. Therefore, here’s where NASA showed interest in Telehealth.

During the 1960s and 1970s, the US federal government passed seven telemedicine projects. These projects sought approval to employ technology for health care. The majority of these projects focused on making healthcare accessible to rural communities.

One of these projects from NASA was STARPAHC, which means Space Technology Applied to Rural Papago Advanced Health Care program. Hence, further Telemedicine with telecommunication technology.

This program established that satellite telecommunications can help provide remote health care services. It further added that there is no need to travel to seek treatment. Moreover, it gave a boost to the usage of this technology. The STARPAHC program was successful and helped Telemedicine reach greater heights.

Invention of the Internet

Invention of the Internet
And after this came a more significant invention of all time – the Internet. It altered the entire system in which humans communicate with each other. The Internet has now emerged as a backbone of Telehealth. The Internet is necessary for all activities like transferring files or connecting devices.

With the help of the Internet, professionals could send and receive images irrespective of geographical boundaries. The invention of the Internet has vanished geographical barriers to connecting big cities with other localities.

After the acceptance of the Internet, the pace of digitization increased. It was easy to manage and send electronic data. The entire world adopted usage, and every household or office was connected. Improvement in digital connectivity has opened Space for providers to benefit area seekers.

Hence, the Internet is a very remarkable milestone in the entire history of Telemedicine. Since then, it has transformed, but the Internet is still a central force for primary care visits.

Telehealth Today and the Future

Telemedicine technology has grown to be a popular method to deliver remote care across the United States. Virtual health has made its way No matter the size of healthcare organizations.

Although the idea is the same as it was, plenty of improvements made it stable. Mobile, smartphones, and tablets connect providers with other specialists and patients just through a tap.

Additionally, internet bandwidth makes it easier for patients in faraway places to consult through online appointments. Added technologies such as wearables make monitoring patients easier for professionals like radio doctors. Indeed, the future of telehealth services is brighter.

Next Steps

Next Steps
When was telehealth invented is a solved question now, right? As of now, delivering healthcare online is getting popular even among medical students and schools. Every day, new applications and policies hit the world. Home monitoring, wearables, and other systems ensure doctors are updated with patient health data 24/7.

With the evolution of telecommunications technologies, there is an increase in the scope of Telehealth. Its centric goal is to make healthcare services more accessible, and this can work out only with great communication technologies.

Implementing Telehealth with Bigscal

Bigscal, a distinguished software development company, is revolutionizing the healthcare industry with its cutting-edge telehealth solutions. In an era where remote access to healthcare services is paramount, Bigscal’s innovative approach is a game-changer.

Through meticulous development, Bigscal has crafted telehealth platforms for primary care that seamlessly connect patients with healthcare professionals. These connected health platforms prioritize user-friendly interfaces, ensuring accessibility for all. Moreover, Bigscal’s robust security measures guarantee the confidentiality of sensitive medical data.

Bigscal’s telehealth solutions are adaptable, offering a range of features such as virtual consultations, prescription management, and real-time monitoring. Healthcare providers can now reach patients in remote areas effortlessly.

Bigscal’s dedication to Telehealth exemplifies its commitment to improving healthcare accessibility and efficiency. Our pioneering health technology also promises a healthier future for all.


Telehealth is a transformative healthcare innovation that has a dramatic impact on delivering medical services. The concept of Telehealth dates back to as early as the 1920s, with the advent of radio telegraphy and radio consultations.

However, in the late 20th century, Telehealth truly began to take shape, thanks to advancements in telecommunications technology and the Internet.

Today, Telehealth is critical in the health outcomes and providing accessible healthcare services, particularly in remote areas and during emergencies. Its ongoing evolution promises to revolutionize healthcare delivery further, making quality medical care more convenient and inclusive for people worldwide.

Hope all of you have got enough details to your question when was telehealth invented.


Telehealth was born in the 1950s when medical professionals started exploring telecommunication technology to provide healthcare services remotely.

The telehealth boom gained significant momentum in the 21st century, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic when the need for remote healthcare services skyrocketed.

People use Telehealth and Telemedicine interchangeably, but there’s a subtle difference. Telemedicine typically involves clinical services like diagnosis and treatment, while Telehealth encompasses a broader spectrum of healthcare services, including non-clinical aspects like remote monitoring and professional health related education too.

The history of Teladoc dates back to 2002. Since then, Teladoc has become one of the leading telehealth companies, offering virtual healthcare services to millions worldwide.

Yes, Telemedicine existed before COVID-19, but the pandemic accelerated its adoption and highlighted its importance in providing remote healthcare access, making it a vital part of modern healthcare systems.