Telemedicine, in its different formats, has the clear potential to offer patients certain advantages compared with " in-person " visits. Video, telephone or even text messaging platforms create immediate contact between doctor and patient without the need to travel up to the medical office.
According to an article published in JAMA in June 2020(JAMA Network Open. 2020;3(6): e205873. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.5873), in the United States, patients spend two hours a day on average to have a 20-minute consultation with their doctor when travel and waiting times are factored in.
Eighty six percent of patients, even with all the barriers to visits, still prefer personal contact, while 14% use telemedicine platforms, mainly women and young adults (18 - 44yrs) while socially vulnerable and older patients prefer in-person visits. These findings show that internet access and familiarity with information technology could make a difference in choice.
"We can shorten the distance and save time ", Telemedicine patients, if we can use that description, do not want to travel 30 minutes to get to a clinic, pay for parking or public transport or wait to be seen. It is important to realize that listening to patients makes a difference in how healthcare providers can start telemedicine programs.
Telemedicine visits are convenient, time saving and have a "FREE PARKING".