The COVID-19 pandemic made telehealth the only means for most patients and caregivers to see or consult a healthcare provider for the majority of 2020. Usage slipped in 2021 as vaccines helped to reopen the economy and bring patients back to hospitals, clinics, and physicians’ offices. But consumers like the convenience, and the coronavirus’ ongoing mutations and surges will make telehealth a permanent fixture in the healthcare landscape.
Over the next few years, telehealth will remain the domain of the younger digital natives. Older generations that have used the service may become converts, but they are more likely to continue use because of complex medical conditions or a nonclinical factor such as lack of transportation. On the other hand, younger generations will continue to use it as a convenience, while raising their children to accept telehealth as a routine way to see a clinician.