Telemedicine, telehealth or e-health? A bibliometric analysis of the trends in the use of these terms

Fatehi, Farhad and Wootton, Richard (2013) Telemedicine, telehealth or e-health? A bibliometric analysis of the trends in the use of these terms. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 18 8: 460-464. doi:10.1258/jtt.2012.GTH108

Author Fatehi, Farhad
Wootton, Richard
Title Telemedicine, telehealth or e-health? A bibliometric analysis of the trends in the use of these terms
Journal name Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1357-633X
Publication date 2013-01-01
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1258/jtt.2012.GTH108
Open Access Status
Volume 18
Issue 8
Start page 460
End page 464
Total pages 5
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Royal Society of Medicine Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The terms ‘telemedicine’, ‘telehealth’ and ‘e-health’ are often used interchangeably. We examined the occurrence of these terms in the Scopus database. A total of 11,644 documents contained one of the three terms in the title or abstract. Telemedicine was the most common term, with 8028 documents referring to it, followed by e-health (n = 2573) and then telehealth (n = 1679). Telemedicine was referred to in documents from 126 countries; the terms telehealth and e-health were found in publications from 55 and 99 countries, respectively. Documents with telemedicine in their title or abstract first appeared in 1972, and continued to appear at a low rate until 1994 when they started to increase rapidly; telehealth showed a similar pattern, but with the growth beginning about five years later. Although articles containing the term e-health appeared later than the other two terms, the rate of increase was higher. Articles (journal papers) were the most common type for the three key terms, followed by conference papers and review articles. Publication rates for telemedicine or telehealth or e-health were compared with two other relatively new fields of study: Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) and Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART). Publications concerning HAART seem to have reached a peak and are now declining, but those with the three key terms and those concerning MIS are both growing. The variation in the level of adoption for the three terms suggests ambiguity in their definition and a lack of clarity in the concepts they refer to.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online before print 3 December 2012

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
Centre for Online Health Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 21 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 21 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 10 Dec 2012, 23:48:00 EST by Burke, Eliza on behalf of Centre for On-Line Health