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COVID-19 transforms health care through telemedicine: evidence from the field

OPEN Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA | 24 Apr 2020

DM Mann, J Chen, R Chunara, PA Testa and O Nov
Abstract
This study provides data on the feasibility and impact of video-enabled telemedicine use among patients and providers and its impact on urgent and non-urgent health care delivery from one large health system (NYU Langone Health) at the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. Between March 2nd and April 14th 2020, telemedicine visits increased from 369.1 daily to 866.8 daily (135% increase) in urgent care after the system-wide expansion of virtual health visits in response to COVID-19, and from 94.7 daily to 4209.3 (4345% increase) in non-urgent care post expansion. Of all virtual visits post expansion, 56.2% and 17.6% urgent and non-urgent visits, respectively, were COVID-19-related. Telemedicine usage was highest by patients aged 20-44, particularly for urgent care. The COVID-19 pandemic has driven rapid expansion of telemedicine use for urgent care and non-urgent care visits beyond baseline periods. This reflects an important change in telemedicine that other institutions facing the COVID-19 pandemic should anticipate.
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