As the COVID-19 virus continues to pause our lives and wreaks havoc on the health care system, telehealth is taking center stage with a leading role. This recent rise to prominence is due mostly to the nationwide call for social distancing, especially among those who have the virus or are at an increased risk of contracting it, and as the death toll climbs to over 140,000 people in the United States.
Telehealth, as defined by the American Physical Therapy Association, is the use of electronic communication and technology to remotely provide health care information and services. This form of health care, although recently brought into the spotlight, is not new to the medical space. Health care providers introduced this idea early in the 20th century through phone and radio and further traction was gained in the 1960s and 1970s through the rise of television and NASA funding and in the 1990s through the increased use of smart devices and the internet. Fast forward to current day, as we operate under a public health emergency, nearly half of physicians have reported that they are using some sort of telehealth, up from 18 percent in 2018.
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