Updated: Nov 29, 2021
Back in the day (just a year ago!) if you had a medical concern for yourself or a family member, you had to make an appointment and take a half day or more out of work or other plans to trek to and from the doctor’s office, where you’d sit and wait, exposing everyone involved to germs, and fill out duplicate forms--straining everyone’s patience to the limit!
I remember doing this even when I knew exactly what the issue was. I have one child who had repeated earaches and pinkeye when she was little. I could easily recognize the symptoms and could've administered the treatments if I'd had a prescription, but regardless, we had to go in in person to see the doctor or nurse to get one.
One silver lining of the COVID-pandemic is that it has made telehealth much more mainstream. While telehealth can include many types of remote care and support, the aspect most people are familiar with is telemedicine--connecting to a clinician by phone (often video phone) for a consultation or treatment. Over time, I expect some of these other forms of telehealth to become more familiar, too.
Before the pandemic, only about 4% of the US population had used telehealth. Now, a year into it, a recent Harris Poll showed that 83% of participants had used it. In the future (whenever we’re past the pandemic) if given the choice, 42% of the population said they’d choose a combination of in-person and virtual care.
Are you using telehealth now? If not, why not? Would you like to in the future? It has made caring for my family a lot easier on me, but have you experienced the same?