The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has defined Telehealth and Telenutrition in the Definition of Terms List:
Telehealth is the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration. Telehealth will include both the use of interactive, specialized equipment, for such purposes as health promotion, disease prevention, diagnosis, consultation, therapy, and/or nutrition intervention/plan of care, and non-interactive (or passive) communications, over the Internet, video-conferencing, e-mail or fax lines, and other methods of distance communications for communication of broad-based nutrition information.
Telenutrition involves the interactive use, by a RDN, of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to implement the Nutrition Care Process (nutrition assessment, nutrition diagnosis, nutrition intervention/plan of care, and nutrition monitoring and evaluation) with patients or clients at a remote location, within the provisions of their state licensure as applicable.
Telehealth Practice Tips and Resources
- Practice Tips: Telehealth Challenges and Opportunities
- Case Study: RDNs Delivering Telehealth Nutrition-Related Services in Hospital Outpatient Setting
- Case Study: RDNs Delivering Telehealth Diabetes Care and Education-Related Services
- Case Study: NDTRs Delivering Telehealth Nutrition-Related Services
- Video Consultations and Virtual Nutrition Care for Weight Management
- Institute of Medicine Workshop Summary: The Role of Telehealth in an Evolving Health Care Environment (2012)
- Telehealth: Start-Up and Resource Guide
- Executive Summary – Telehealth Practitioner Survey
Ethics in Action and Ethics Case Studies
The following articles have been published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics or on the Academy webpage to educate members on ethical practice related to the Code of Ethics for the Nutrition and Dietetics Profession.
- Telehealth Is Transforming Health Care: What You Need to Know to Practice Telenutrition
- Ethical and Legal Issues Related to Blogging and Social Media
- Avoiding Ethical and Legal Issues in Practice Settings
Telehealth Evidence Analysis Project
The Academy's Evidence Analysis Project on Telenutrition looked at the evidence of providing Medical Nutrition Therapy via various modalities (in-person, phone, Internet, email, videoconferencing) and found that limited evidence showed no significant differences in outcomes between telehealth and traditional in-person sessions. The project acknowledges that further research comparing delivery methods in the same study is needed.
Strong and consistent evidence reports that telenutrition interventions and counseling, when provided by a registered dietitian as part of a healthcare team, resulted in significant improvements in weight, BMI, A1C, blood pressure and serum lipids. Consistent evidence reports that telenutrition interventions and counseling provided by a registered dietitian (alone) resulted in significant improvements in weight, BMI, A1C, and/or serum lipids. The EAL project on telenutrition acknowledges that additional research on each of these outcomes is needed.
To access the full evidence summaries and articles, visit the Evidence Analysis Library, Telenutrition Project.