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Fast-tracked by the pandemic, telehealth is here and it's the future of medicine

Monday, May 25, 2020

Connecticut Magazine
By Mike Wollschlager
 “Stay home, stay safe,” has been a rallying cry in many states since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The main reason is to attempt to minimize the spread of COVID-19 through person-to-person transmission. But a byproduct of the stay-at-home initiative is a reduction of emergency room and doctor’s office visits for any number of incidents that can happen while we’re out and about in the world. That’s crucial for overworked and mentally fatigued health care workers, and patients in dire need of immediate attention.  While sheltering in place is an effective weapon against acute illnesses and injuries, people with chronic conditions and prolonged maladies still need care. And even at home, accidents do happen. Telehealth, or health care that is done remotely over a smartphone, tablet or computer, provides present-day solutions for a new world of problems. It’s also the future of medicine. “The tidal wave is here,” says Dr. Jerrold Kaplan, a physiatrist at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare in Wallingford. “Physicians, psychologists, therapists and patients are realizing the benefit of telehealth. [The pandemic] probably moved us 10 years ahead of the curve.”

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