Telehealth Poised to Revolutionise Health Care

Telehealth is growing rapidly and has the potential to transform the delivery of health care for millions of persons. That is the conclusion of a review article appearing today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The piece, co-authored by Ray Dorsey, M.D., M.B.A., with the University of Rochester Medical Centre and Eric Topol, M.D., with the Scripps Research Institute, argues that the growth of telehealth over the next decade and beyond will have profound implications for health care delivery and medicine. This delivery of virtual care over a distance could help address long-standing concerns about the distribution and number of physicians and provide greater flexibility to both patients and clinicians.

Telehealth holds the potential to disrupt established patterns of care, the authors argue, because it provides access in a manner that is convenient to the patient and at potentially lower cost. Many entities, from traditional medical providers to newer start-up companies, now offer virtual visits with a physician around the clock and at an average cost of less than $50 per visit. By contrast, it takes on average 20 days to secure a 20-minute appoin