As telemedine catches fire, its earliest critics are embracing change

Dec 15, 2020 | Jennifer Picker | @jenniferpicker

Published October 16, 2020 by Rebecca Robbins on

If you’d talked to Joe Heyman around the 2000s, you might have taken him as a telemedicine naysayer. Back then, the Massachusetts OB-GYN was highly skeptical of the rash of new services sprouting up to remotely connect patients and physicians. He was wary, he told STAT, of patients "calling a total stranger and asking for clinical care," and worried about building trust when a new doctor picked up the phone every time. He never once conducted a visit via video by the time he retired from seeing patients in 2014.

He only wishes he’d had the chance.

Being able to see his patients via video-conferencing tools such as Zoom, a technology that was only just starting to gain traction in his final years in the clinic, "would have been wonderful" — even though he’s still skeptical about talking to a provider you’ve never met, he said.

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