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Andrea Drever
By Andrea Drever

Content and Editorial Director


Avoiding traffic, a contagious waiting room, and terrible magazines. These are just a few reasons patients and physicians alike are steering clear of the doctor’s office and embracing telehealth. But what happens when the threat of COVID subsides? All signs indicate that telehealth won’t just stick around, but will burgeon. Here’s why.

 

Convenience

Not having to take time off work to schlep to the doctor’s office seems like a minor miracle. Naturally, not every issue can be addressed remotely, but for those that can, telehealth is a huge time saver.

Improved Technology

The pandemic has motivated telehealth companies to work even harder to make their products simple and more effective for doctors and patients. Further advances in virtual care tools over the next few years are a certainty. With innovative features and better functionality, these tools will increasingly become the best option for treating a broad range of conditions, long after the pandemic subsides.

Chat Care

Via chat-only conversations, patients are able to access instant, on-demand care, no appointment or video required. They can get medical advice and guidance, receive a diagnosis and treatment, obtain prescription orders and refills, schedule appointments and get referrals, all through chat.

Health Equity

Access to healthcare isn’t evenly distributed across the United States, and telehealth can help fill the gaps. For people who live in rural communities, the nearest clinic can be hours away. But with telemedicine, patient location is far less of a problem. And increased innovation in telemedicine platforms has made it possible for patients to connect to their doctors with only a smartphone. Previously, a broadband internet connection was required. Telehealth lessens this digital divide.

Mental Health Access

One area that has shown significant success with telehealth is behavioral and mental health. Access to therapists and psychiatrists from the comfort of home has spurred many people to access care who might not have done so before the pandemic.

 

With all the benefits of telehealth, “the doctor will call you now” is something we can expect to be hearing for the foreseeable future.

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