by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
From northern Alaska to islands off Florida—and countless places in between—telemedicine is saving, extending, and improving American lives. As we’ve witnessed the rapid spread of the coronavirus disease in recent weeks, we can see that mobile devices and health applications are playing a critical role in the public health response—from accessing public health information to swift and safe consulting with a health care provider.
Connecting patients with medical professionals instantaneously via mobile telehealth applications, whether across town or on the other side of the world, allows those affected by or exposed to the virus to receive proper medical care without potentially exposing others. In fact, in response to the coronavirus outbreak, President Trump just signed legislation allowing Medicare to expand the use of telemedicine in vulnerable areas – demonstrating just one of the many ways in which these developing technologies will facilitate rapid, efficient responses to the virus.
Advancements in telemedicine and mobile-health will be critical to containing and managing the corona virus outbreak; this virus is also bringing their broader benefits sharply into focus. In fact, telemedicine and mobile-health technology are supporting countless initiatives to improve access to health care and enhance patient outcomes.