*Dr. Deeksha Sharma and Dr. Akshay Sharma


At the end of 2019, patients with pneumonia of unknown etiology appeared in the city of Wuhan (China). After a short time, this infection affected not only the people of China but also the whole world. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the disease a pandemic. A viral agent was identified - severe acute respiratory syndrome-related corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and the disease itself was named “2019 novel corona virus infection” (COVID-19). Telemedicine technologies are a form of medical care and training that can counteract the spread of a COVID-19 epidemic by eliminating direct contact of both medical workers with patients and medical workers and patients with each other. A narrative review was conducted to examine the current state of the utilization of telemedicine amid the current COVID-19 pandemic and to evaluate the benefits of continuing telemedicine usage in the future. A literature review was performed for articles related to telemedicine. Databases including Pub Med, Google Scholar, Cochrane Library and Ovid MEDLINE were searched. Three reviewers independently performed article selection based on relevance to our topic. We included all articles between 1990 and 2020 related to telemedicine using the following keywords: telemedicine, telehealth, policy, COVID-19, regulation, rural, physical examination. During the current pandemic, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services have expanded access to telemedicine services. The advantages of telemedicine moving forward include its costeffectiveness, ability to extend access to specialty services and its potential to help mitigate the looming physician shortage. Disadvantages include lack of available technological resources in certain parts of the country, issues with security of patient data, and challenges in performing the traditional patient examination. It is critically important that changes are made to fully immerse telemedicine services into the healthcare landscape in order to be prepared for future pandemics as well as to reap the benefits of this service in the future.

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