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Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, everyone has had to make some major changes to their everyday lives within the past year. Many adults have grown accustomed to working from home, children have been doing online school, and most healthcare providers have made the transition to telehealth.
The Health Resources Services Administration defines telehealth as 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. Technologies include videoconferencing, the internet, store-and-forward imaging, streaming media, and terrestrial and wireless communications.
Telehealth has almost become the norm now when it comes to healthcare appointments and consultations. In 2021, 93% of clinicians believe that telehealth is an “acceptable” option for medical care.
Although the world is beginning to open up again, and many people are ready to be out and about again, it is important to recognize some of the benefits that have come along with the shift to telehealth.
In fact, 83% of patients now say that they are likely to continue using telehealth even after Covid-19.
As a whole, telehealth cannot entirely replace in-person healthcare. There will always be appointments that will require certain tests or scans that will require going into the office. In addition, certain diagnoses do require in-person care.
However, the benefits of telehealth are real and have made healthcare more inclusive.
For women, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and racial and ethnic minorities, telehealth has opened up a much more approachable and accessible way to receive treatment.
Telehealth may have emerged because of unfortunate circumstances, but it is always good to know that good things have come along with it.