Will the Meteoric Rise of Telemedicine Continue Post-Covid?

  • Connexions
  • 2021-02-17
  • 1790

Overnight our volume literally doubled. Everyone went from asking what telehealth was, to thinking of virtual care as the future. We always thought this was inevitable—we just didn’t think it would happen overnight and that it would take a global pandemic to be the catalyst.”

Breaking the Model

Teladoc now has 7,000 physicians, operating in 30 languages and treating people across the world via the internet. It expects to complete 10 million appointments this year. Gorevic explained:

“Everything from acute episodic situations to chronic conditions; both mental and physical health are all accessed equally well through virtual care. Telemedicine can provide continuity and match patients with the right therapist and method of treatment, regardless of geographical distances. Text, chat, phone, video and online modules can all be used interchangeably. The technology enables us to break the models and rebuild them in ways that are much better.”

He added:

“In the future, people are going to look to virtual healthcare for all of their healthcare needs—not just a slice.”

Varsha Rao, CEO of Nurx, an end-to-end telehealth platform for women’s health, including contraception, agreed. She observed:

“The home has become the hub for health across all demographics. We see that telehealth has gone from a second or third option to a first-choice option, especially for millennials and Gen Z who are so comfortable with technology.”

Iris Berman, VP Telehealth Services for Northwell Health, in New York, suggested virtual health had a key role to play in integrated care for hard-to-reach patients in inner cities, as well as rural areas. She said:

“Telehealth became the way to get healthcare to some of these people during the pandemic. But there are still problems to solve: the disparity bridge needs to be crossed—telehealth can only help if the technology is accessible. But I believe that in the future it will only be the sickest of the sick—those needing the larger machines—who will be in hospitals. Everything else will be in the home.

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