The Rise of Telemedicine

aging in place telemedicine

We’ve arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology.

~Carl Sagan

Aging in Place

Definition: Telemedicine

Telemedicine is delivering medical care at a distance with the use of technology. Doctors in one location employ a network of telecommunications infrastructure to provide care to patients at distant sites, such as their homes.The Mayo Clinic defines Telehealth: Technology meets health care

While telemedicine is focused on diagnosis and management of patients, telehealth is also about prevention, education, and health promotion. Telehealth includes continuing education for medical professionals on the web and information for the public (

We think of telehealth/medicine as recent inventions, when in fact, as far back as 1879 an article in the Lancet talked about using the telephone to reduce unnecessary office visits. So, the profession has been thinking about using technology to enhance the practice of medicine and help more people for many decades.

“Telemedicine has been around for about 40 years, but in the last five years it’s been exponentially growing in all sectors,” says Jonathan Linkous, head of the American Telemedicine Association.

The Corona Virus Pandemic has thrusted the role of technology in the care of patients to the front of the line. The formidable barriers to adoption have now, by necessity, tumbled down as we now must adjust to a world of COVID19 co-existence.


This pandemic has taught us many hard lessons, least of which is how dependent on science and technology we have become for our survival. Science provides us with the “what”, technology with the “how”, and we provide the “why.”

Social distancing is but one factor which has now made telemedicine a viable go-to option for most patients with access to technology. “Your doctor will ZOOM you now,” is a safer alternative to sitting in a crowded waiting room exposed to other potential infected patients.

Telemedicine Companies Emerge

There are many Telemedicine companies (more all the time) in the arena to explore.


Here are a few examples:

American Well: Telehealth visits by video and phone

Avizia’s: Technology enables patient access to clinicians, provider collaboration from the onset of a condition, care coordination, and point-of-care devices

Doctor On Demand: Sees itself as a nationwide medical practice connecting consumers with board-certified physicians in an on-demand fashion

MDLive’s: The system offers a patient experience, a provider experience and a call center

Philips: A telehealth system offering multiple modalities in the hospital and in the home

Polycom: Boasts of high-quality audio and video and uses content communication capabilities on various platforms, from a basic codec that one hooks up to a TV to a rolling cart that moves from room to room to things like tele-psychiatry on a desktop

Sherpaa Health: Markets its telemedicine offering more as a service than a technology product

Teladoc: Founded 15 years ago, is selling its telemedicine offering to large self-insured employers and then to health plans and to hospitals and health systems

Telemedicine is here to stay, part of the solution, and it would be savvy to investigate how this kind of healthcare can help you and your loved ones now and into the future.



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