Journal of Telemedicine and eHealth: Environmental Impact of Ambulatory Telehealth Use by a Statewide University Health System During COVID-19
A study by UC Davis Health researchers assessed telehealth visits’ carbon footprint and their potential savings in lives, costs and time compared to in-person visits. The study found substantial savings for patients and the environment, including eliminating the need to commute 53,664,391 miles. Telehealth also saved an estimated 204 years of travel time, $33,540,244 travel-related costs and 42.4 injuries and 0.7 fatalities. The findings showed that telehealth can be a safe, efficient and cost-effective method to address climate change. Researchers recommended telehealth ambulatory services as a patient-friendly mode of care, even when the pandemic is over.