COVID-19 pandemic leads to the increased popularity of telemedicine

Telemedicine has been utilized by doctors, but recently has grown in popularity due to it’s non-contact nature.

In this COVID-19 pandemic, many people are looking towards telemedicine to limit social interactions.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, telemedicine is the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by means of telecommunications technology.
Psychologist. Julie Ann Allender has been practicing psychology since the 1980s and has seen telemedicine evolve through the years.
“[Telemedicine] used to be called e-medicine,” Allender said. “[Psychologists] had to be licensed in the state of the person [they are] working with.”
According to the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) approved the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT) in February 2015 by the ASPPB Board of Directors
“[PSYPACT] is a program created state by state that allows [therapists] to use telemedicine wherever the patient is,” Allender said.
“All rules and regulations went out the window [when COVID-19 swept the US],” Allender said. “The majority of doctors are now using [telemedicine].”
“My daughter uses [telemedicine] for therapy,” Harleysville resident Patricia Dourley said, “and my father.”
Dourley’s father is “89 years old and is high risk to catch the coronavirus.”
“I think [telemedicine]’s a very useful tool,” Dourley said. “It’s safe. It was helpful to my doctor and my dad.”
Telemedicine is more versatile, but the “limitations are something you have to touch.”
“[Doctors] can take the phone and keep working with you,” Allender said. Telemedicine is “good for rural areas.”
“[Doctors] needed to be able to reach out to people who we can’t get to,” Allender said. “People don’t have to be in one spot.”
Telemedicine is good for therapists because they can see patients’ rooms.
“That tells me a lot,” Allender said.
Junior Carter Wilson wants “to be a therapist.”
“[Telemedicine is] a good idea in order to help people maintain their mental health,” Wilson said.