The Inline Sessions 2021: The Value of Telehealth

Feb 25, 2021

Telehealth. Once considered a secondary healthcare delivery option, telehealth has proven to be a necessity to accessible primary care. And while COVID-19 certainly didn’t create the need for virtual doctor visits, it played a major role propelling telehealth into the spotlight it deserved. In the last week of March 2020, telehealth visits increased by 154% vs. the same week 2019. The correlation between this surge and the beginning of the pandemic is clear, but this certainly doesn’t mean the recognized value of telemedicine will disappear.

For the opening day of the 2021 Inline Sessions, Melanie Doukas of Ro, a patient-driven telehealth company, discussed the many ways telemedicine adds value to both the patient and physician experience.

“Telehealth really allows providers and patients to connect seamlessly regardless of where they’re located.”

Healthcare access may be the most important value provided by telemedicine. When Ro started in 2017, their mission was and continues to be bringing access to more patients across the country, with a focus on healthcare deserts where populations live more than 60 minutes from an acute care hospital. In fact, roughly 90% of Ro’s patients live in healthcare deserts. And they don’t just provide a virtual doctor’s office—Ro has a nationwide pharmacy network that delivers medications to all 50 states. 

But what about patient connection?

With many overworked providers struggling to build relationships with patients in-person, how does telemedicine address this issue? Believe it or not, telemedicine creates more room for providers to connect with patients than in-person appointments. Because of the convenience of a virtual visit, providers don’t need to scramble between rooms and appointments. More importantly, telemedicine is more accessible for patients as a whole. Patients can easily schedule appointments with their primary care provider without rearranging their schedules. Maintaining care continuity is a seamless experience. 

To watch the full session and learn more about the value of telemedicine, click below to access this and the rest of our Inline Session recordings!

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