The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a surge in telemedicine visits. Here's what you need to know about virtual health care.
Telemedicine — interactions with your doctor by video — has been slowly growing for years. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States earlier this year and forced people into isolation, this emerging form of virtual health care took off.
"In 2020, we've seen a sharp hockey stick–like movement in the number of telemedicine visits," says Dr. Joseph Kvedar, a dermatologist with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital and president of the American Telemedicine Association. "The experience has shown both patients and doctors the many ways telemedicine can improve health care in the current environment and beyond. It appears to be here to stay."
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