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Telemedicine Could Be Vital in COVID-19; Social Distance Should Include Health Professionals

By Ken Briodagh

Telemedicine is the ability of a clinician to interact, diagnose and advise patients remotely over an audio and/or video feed. In a time when social distancing is critical to public health, telemedicine could be a key tool for keeping COVID-19 under control. It reduces the exposure of at-risk clinical staff to infection and, in the unfortunate event they need to self-quarantine, allows clinicians to continue to practice from confinement.

The use of telemedicine can also eliminate patient exposure to cross-infection that can come when visiting a healthcare facility. Evidence of this is clear by comparing the morbidity and mortality rates of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak prior to its being identified in Wuhan, China and after aggressive social distancing and quarantine rules were imposed once the outbreak was understood.

Under the State of Emergency announced by the White House recently, significant resources have been made available by the US government to fund such consultations. Telehealth coverage included in the Coronavirus Spending Bill would allow reimbursement from Medicare and waive geographical restrictions on telehealth allowing care to be received at patients' homes. However, while widely used, telemedicine is still unavailable in many care sites and implementation can be expensive, burdensome and time consuming at a time when it is most needed.

“Many of our professional users already suffer from physician burnout and this crisis will add to the stress,” said Tim Kelley, CEO, TeleRay. “Telehealth is a method to reduce stress and exposure.”

TeleRay telemedicine is an elastic, HIPAA-compliant platform which allows for immediate implementation and on-boarding of patients. Unlike many other solutions, there is no requirement for changes to a practice's existing systems such as scheduling and Electronic Medical Records, while TeleRay's split payment capability allows for accurate and simple billing. Nautilus provides free technical support for implementation and reimbursement advice.


Ken Briodagh is a storyteller, writer and editor with about two decades of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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