Where will telemedicine go from here?

Telemedicine is a safe form of patient care. As technology, testing, and policies evolve, patients and providers will benefit from efficient care that is in line with physical distancing requirements.
Where will telemedicine go from here?

VOLUME 114, ISSUE 6, P1135-1139


Katherine Rotker, M.D., Danielle Velez, M.D.


The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of telemedicine internationally. The reproductive clinics that thrived in this tumultuous time had access to fully electronic medical records with user-friendly telehealth platforms and remote support staff for physicians. However, complete transition from in-person visits to telehealth uncovered many opportunities for innovation. At-home semen testing is not yet widely recognized, and patients still require an in-person visit for ultrasounds, procedures, and physical examinations. Although emergency policies and waivers have made it easier for providers to legally practice across state borders and receive payments from insurance companies, they vary from state to state and have not been cemented into law. Finally, clinical training for medical students, residents, and fellows has been affected by decreased clinical and surgical volume. However, trainees have also proven to be the most adaptable, quickly shifting to remote learning practices through social media, online surgical atlases, and wide distribution of “virtual visiting professor” lectures. As countries have eased physical distancing guidelines, patients ultimately benefit from having the option of a telehealth appointment. Although there is still much work to be done to improve telehealth, the COVID-19 pandemic has at least proven that it is a safe method of patient care and teaching.

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