Telemedicine, also called telehealth, allows patients to access care from their healthcare providers without visiting a clinic or hospital. A telemedicine appointment is typically done over video conferencing using a computer or mobile device with internet access. Patients may also have the option of speaking to their healthcare provider over the phone. 

Telemedicine can also include remote patient monitoring. This allows physicians to monitor?? devices such as a blood pressure monitor or thermometer to measure your vitals at home. Your results can then be shared virtually with your physician.  

What kind of care can I access through telemedicine?

Using telemedicine, you can schedule an appointment to speak to a healthcare professional for many reasons, including: 

  • Review lab or x-ray results
  • Manage prescriptions 
  • Treat a skin condition 
  • Urgent care issues such as the flu or a cough
  • Telehealth for UTIs  (urinary tract infection)

How telemedicine is improving accessibility to healthcare

Studies have shown that telemedicine has led to greater access to care. It has also demonstrated similar, and in some cases better, health outcomes compared to traditional models of care.1 Telemedicine can help to improve patient accessibility to healthcare by:

Reducing the need for transportation

For many people, a lack of reliable transportation prevents them from accessing the medical care they need. Using telemedicine, patients can access the care they need and overcome the geographic distance and costs associated with in-person care appointments. 

Increasing available services

Researchers project that there will be a growing shortage of physicians with an estimated loss between 54,100 and 139,000 by the year 2033.2 This means there will likely be a higher level of demand than supply, especially in rural areas where there are already physician shortages.1 Telemedicine can help people in rural and remote locations gain access to healthcare providers that may not be available within their communities. 

Providing timely access to care

Rather than driving a long distance to sit in a waiting room or emergency room for an extended amount of time, telemedicine can help to reduce the time you need to wait to access care. Different health conditions require different levels of care. Any potentially life-threatening issues should not be handled with telemedicine. 

Improving patient comfort

Elderly patients and those with mobility issues might find it difficult or even painful to travel to a medical appointment. Similarly, immunocompromised patients may want to avoid sitting in a busy clinic waiting room where they could be exposed to infection. 

Will You Use Telemedicine? 

If you’ve found it challenging to access healthcare in the past, will you use telemedicine to get medical attention in the future? While there are certain health conditions that require a visit to the emergency room or physician’s office, telemedicine can provide easy access to a variety of treatments.  


  1. Annual Review of Public Health. Improving access to care: telemedicine across medical domains. Accessed September 24, 2023.  
  2. Association of American Medical Colleges. The complexities of physician supply and demand: Projections from 2018 to 2033. Accessed September 24, 2023.