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Rise of Telemedicine

Rise of Telemedicine

When the Coronavirus pandemic shut down The United States last March, life was turned upside down. Amongst having to alter your daily routine and quarantine at home, all access to the medical industry from normal appointments to pick up prescriptions was halted. As everyone began to find their footing, Telemedicine came into the spotlight. Doctors were able to see their patients without having to be in-person and risk exposure to COVID-19.

Telemedicine has been becoming more popular over the past several years, especially with mental health services. A major difficulty of transitioning telemedicine into a common way to see patients was the lack of insurance coverage. Once the pandemic hit, telemedicine was the perfect way to still have appointments.

Telemedicine appointments allow doctors to screen patients on whether or not they should come in for an in-person appointment if they need testing or procedures. The patient's overall experience is better with shorter wait times, not having to worry about transportation, and having more opportunities to talk with a medical professional.

Many people go to the emergency room or an urgent care facility for easily treatable health concerns, including the flu, sore throats, and skin infections. Most of these health issues are solved easily with a prescription of antibiotics. If patients could easily set up telemedicine appointments, they could avoid long wait times and have their problem resolved quicker. This will also lower the influx of patients coming into the emergency department in hospitals and urgent care facilities so patients who need to be seen in-person can receive care faster too.

Health inequities and disparities have been highlighted like never before through this pandemic. Telemedicine provides an opportunity to improve health care across the country by increasing accessibility and availability. Doctors can now service a wider geographic area since patients do not have to have in-person visits often.

There are several different ways telemedicine can be applied, including follow up visits, chronic disease management, and preventative care support. It allows patients and doctors to connect more frequently and efficiently, which should provide better health outcomes.

In-person appointments will become more popular again as the infection rates lower, but telemedicine will not be going away. Both patients and doctors are enjoying using a virtual platform for appointments. Medical professionals of many different specialties will be able to utilize telemedicine as a primary way of treating patients. With the continued innovation of medical technology for consumers, including Apple Watches, doctors can be more connected to their patients than ever.