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Using telehealth to expand access during the pandemic

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Posted at 6:12 AM, Dec 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-22 06:12:17-05

(WXYZ) — Nothing has changed the game of medicine like telehealth services. A phone, an iPad, or a computer will connect you with your doctor no matter where you are.

With COVID, it's safer for patients and health care professionals.

In a year's time, the COVID pandemic has flipped the world of medicine upside down. Hospital garages now ICU units, the Novi- Showplace is a make-shift hospital, and a doctor's waiting room has now gone virtual.

Telehealth is a service being offered by Dr. Barry Feldman and his team of 400 physicians with the Michigan Health Care Professional Group.

Five years ago it was estimated that there would be about 800,000 telehealth consultations. In 2020, we are on pace to top 1 billion virtual doctor consultations. It's a safer option for patients because it reduces potential exposure to infectious diseases like COVID.

All you need to connect to your doctor or nurse from the comfort of your own home is a phone, a computer or an iPad. It's estimated 60% to 90% of physicians are using some sort of telehealth.

Telehealth companies are providing specific tools that pair with an iPad by Bluetooth and the internet. Remote Patient Monitoring kits are sent home, making vitals instantly available to their doctor, nurse, or nurse practitioner.

They can monitor your heart, your blood pressure and your oxygen with this pulse oximeter. And if you need a specialist from cancer to a cardiologist, they will be invited onto the virtual call too. It's stopping an onslaught of patients at medical facilities and it reduces the use of PPE by health care providers.

Dr. Feldman and his team have tested more than 50,000 people for COVID-19 since March with an outdoor drive-through service.

So here's the Rebound rundown:

  • Telehealth eliminates travel and missed appointments.
  • Makes healthcare accessible in rural areas
  • And eliminates exposure to other patients in the waiting room.