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There are many skeptics about telehealth, but the evidence is mounting that it works well for patients and providers. Teladoc, which claims to be the leader in telehealth, is providing telehealth access to millions. This week, the company announced a record for November with a total of 101,600 patient telehealth visits.

The growth was fueled by an increase in utilization by existing members, addition of new members, and expanded clinical services. The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) predicted the telehealth industry will see 1.25 million visits in 2016. With flu season upon us, thousands of consumers are choosing to use their iPads to visit a doctor or other provider, such as a nurse practitioner. The appeal of no driving to the doctor’s office to sit in the waiting room is helping drive the growth of telehealth. 

The face to face consultation via the Internet will be supplemented by a plethora of FDA approved mHealth devices which can enable consumers to take their temperature, blood pressure, and EKG, and share the data with the doctor. For children, parents will be able to insert a small attachment to an iPhone and take a picture of the inside of their child’s ear. The doctor can look at the data and determine if there is an infection. Many more such devices are becoming available.

Read about mHealth devices in a peer-reviewed journal article I wrote:  How mHealth will spur consumer-led healthcare. Read more about mHealth and how it works in Health Attitude.

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