JMIR Publications: Pandemic-Triggered Adoption of Telehealth in Underserved Communities: Descriptive Study of Pre- and Post-shutdown Trends

This study explored whether the temporary shift to telehealth services has changed the attitudes toward the usage of technology-enabled health services in rural communities. The study found that the trend in telemedicine claims had an opposite pattern to that in non-telemedicine claims across the three time periods studied: pre-pandemic, pandemic before the rollout of mass vaccination, and pandemic after the rollout of mass vaccination. The current trends indicate that adoption of telehealth services is likely to increase post-pandemic and that consumers (patients), service providers, health care establishments, insurance companies, and state and local policies have changed their attitudes toward telehealth. An increase in the use of telehealth could help local and federal governments address the shortage of health care facilities and service providers in underserved communities, and patients can get the much-needed care in a timely and effective manner.

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