Telemedicine– the practice of caring for patients remotely– is just one of the many adaptations that have been brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many individuals, for good reason, fear entering public places unless it is an absolute emergency. Thus, for many, doctors and other appointments have been put on the back burner. Furthermore, not all doctors are deemed essential, so their offices are not open.
However, many are fortunate enough to have access to technology that permits us to take advantage of teletherapy through calls and video conferences. While this may not seem like a luxury to some, this access is game-changing in the world of medicine and health care. Instead of waiting long periods of time, patients are able to receive care virtually in the comfort of their own homes. According to the American Hospital Association, 76 percent of hospitals connect with their patients through telehealth and Medicaid, and nearly every state offers some form of coverage with regards to telehealth services.
All of these adjustments sound revolutionary for the moment, but I’m sure you are wondering what happens when all this craziness settles down and things go back to normal. I firmly believe that while some forms of service will be in person once again, such as physical and occupational therapy, other forms, such as non-urgent conversations with doctors, will continue being held online because of the ease of communication.
While telemedicine is not ideal in all areas, it has certainly served its purpose during these trying times, and I have a feeling this will not be the last we hear about it.