Surge in Telemedicine One ‘Good’ Outcome from COVID-19 Crisis, Doctors Say

Surge in Telemedicine One ‘Good’ Outcome from COVID-19 Crisis, Doctors Say
While there are few silver linings to the cloud created by COVID-19, the pandemic that has killed tens of thousands, hobbled economies worldwide and drove millions to quarantine in their homes, one may be a new appreciation of telemedicine. "If something good could come out of this crisis, it's that we would learn how valuable telehealth could be to our community," said Steven Shook, a neurologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Shook specializes in neuromuscular disorders such as Parkinson's, muscular dystrophy, myasthenia gravis, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), and amyloid lateral sclerosis (ALS), and in polyneuropathy. "People are going to want more — they're going to want it to continue to be part of their medical care," Shook said in a phone interview with BioNews Services, the parent company of this website. Telemedicine is the use of technology, devices like a laptop or desktop, telephone or smartphone, to connect directly with a healthcare professional — doctors, specialists, nurses, therapists, psychologists — from just about anywhere you can get a connection: your home, your car, your office. It's the doctor's house call, 21st century style. But it arguably took a pandemic to bring telemedicine to the fore. COVID-19 is a highly contagious and utterly new coronavirus, and its arrival put doctors' offices and hospital visits off-limits to all but emergency cases. People who have chronic diseases or take treatments that weaken or suppress their immune systems — whether Crohn's, Friedreich's ataxia, lupus, lymphoma (and most cancers), multiple sclerosis, sarcoidosis, or scleroderma — are at specia
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