What is Telehealth?

Telehealth allows to provide healthcare and social related services remotely using communication and informatics technologies.

Telehealth pursue the following objectives:

  • Improve healthcare services accessibility
  • Provide continual quality care in appropriate time
  • Involve patients participation by creating a health partnership
  • Optimize resources usage and expertise from healthcare professionals
  • Organize services networks and promote multi-disciplinary collaboration between professionals

Telehealth can further be defined into subtypes:

  • TELEREHABILIATION: Providing rehabilitation services (physical, social, speech therapy, …) remotely using communication technologies between an healthcare professional and a patient, each of them being on different sites (typically in a clinical site and at home)
  • TELECONSULTING: Providing an health related consultation using communication technologies between an healthcare professional and a patient, each of them being on different sites.
  • REMOTE ASSISTANCE: Allowing an healthcare professional to be remotely assist in his healthcare service by another professional which is with a patient.
  • TELEMONITORING: Allowing remote monitoring, by an healthcare professional, of clinical data (such as biomedical sensors) collected by a patient and transferred remotely using communications technologies.

Telehealth guidelines in the Quebec province (Canada)

The health ministry (“Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS)”) created a governance on telehealth which allowed the creation of a network, the Quebec network on telehealth (“Réseau québécois de la télésanté”). This governance is based on shared management between clinicians and technological experts, either at the ministry itself or in the various establishments in the healthcare network.

In Quebec, telehealth usage involving patients is regulated the same way that in-person professional healthcare services are. Each professional order, such as the “Collège des médecins du Québec” for doctors, is required to regulate and provide guidelines to support their members practice. Whatever the field, some good telehealth practices need to be considered, such as:

  • Respect for privacy and confidentiality needs to be preserved, as required by law.
  • Healthcare professionals must obtain their patients authorization before providing virtual care of any kind.

Below are listed some of the related documentation on the guidelines to provide telehealth services for some professional orders in Quebec (French documents):

Testimonies and medias

Testimonies on the use of telerehabilitation in clinic practice (in French)


Podcasts on knowledge exchange surrounding telerehabilitation (French)