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Pexels We don’t need to run diagnostic tests to know that the healthcare system in the U.S. is gravely ill. High costs and subpar care are just the tip of the iceberg for patients today. Annual wellness checks, while well-intentioned, make it all too likely for people to wait for months at a time to ask their doctor about troubling symptoms rather than seeking more immediate attention.
When the COVID-19 pandemic led many people to avoid medical offices, doctors feared that neglected ailments could worsen. While this concern has to some extent been borne out, there was one unanticipated silver lining: a coming-of-age moment for telehealth. In the early months of the pandemic, consumer adoption of telehealth more than quadrupled from 11% to 46% as virtual visits quickly became the initial touchpoint for many primary and mental health care consultations.
For the first time, both doctors and patients were exposed to virtual tools that enabled them to connect swifter and more often. These digital interactions weren’t a full replacement for physical visits, but rather an opportunity for check-ins, questions, and referrals to be expedited, and in-person appointments to be scheduled as needed. Easier and more convenient care has generally resulted in […]