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November 15, 2017
David W. Johnson

Telemedicine Marches Forward

After Hurricane Harvey and Irma hit the Gulf Coast in August 2017, America’s leading telemedicine companies volunteered their services to people and institutions in medical need. As reported in Med City News, American Well, Doctor on Demand, MDLive and Teladoc provided free 24/7 physical and behavioral health consults in Texas and Florida through their nationwide virtual care networks.

These services were desperately needed. Almost 60 Houston-area and Southeastern U.S. hospitals evacuated  patients. Healthcare facilities that remained open struggled with high volume, understaffing, power outages and supply shortages.

Telemedicine delivered a vital lifeline, connecting physicians throughout the country with patients and care-providers needing assistance. Telemedicine’s timely interventions saved lives, lowered stress, enhanced care delivery and reduced suffering.

It’s perplexing that healthcare systems have not integrated telemedicine’s capabilities more holistically into their standard delivery platforms. Telemedicine knows no borders, or shouldn’t. The technology represents victory over distance and freedom over infrastructure.

The passage of the Veterans E-Health and Telemedicine Support (VETS) Act of 2017 marks another step forward in the adoption of telemedicine services. The bill allows VA healthcare providers to deliver telemedicine across state borders to reach patients wherever they are in need.

To read more, see the report in Modern Healthcare and read our article from September 2017.


About the Author

David W. Johnson

David Johnson is the CEO of 4sight Health, an advisory company working at the intersection of healthcare strategy, economics, innovation. Johnson is a healthcare thought leader, keynote speaker, and strategic advisor to organizations busting the status-quo to reform our healthcare system. He is the author of Market vs. Medicine: America’s Epic Fight for Better, Affordable Healthcare, and his second book, The Customer Revolution in Healthcare: Delivering Kinder, Smarter, Affordable Care for All (McGraw-Hill 2019). As a speaker, Dave plays the role of rebel, challenger, industry historian, investor and company evaluator to push audiences forward. (Watch bio video.) Johnson applies his 25+ years of investment banking in healthcare to identify ways the healthcare industry must change to deliver better care. He received a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School, an English degree from Colgate University, and served in the African Peace Corp service. Join over 10k+ healthcare executives who read our weekly insights and commentary on www.4sighthealth.com. His third book, Less Healthcare, More Health: The Prescription for a Happier, More Equitable and Productive America, will publish in 2024.

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