Bailey Earls|1/27/2023|4 min read

4 Examples Of Successful Telemedicine Adoption

Lowering barriers and improving patient access


Telemedicine was used well before the COVID-19 pandemic, but at the time, the technology and infrastructure wasn’t equipped enough to see it utilized effectively. Many physicians and patients were hesitant to adopt telemedicine at first. However, the pandemic led to a forced change in healthcare delivery in order to limit the spread of the virus. 

Since then, providers, patients and healthcare leaders alike have witnessed telehealth and virtual care delivery filling the gaps left by an outdated healthcare system. This blog post will cover which of those areas of practice have seen the most success after adopting telemedicine. 

Telemedicine adoption

The use of telemedicine requires physicians, subsidiary staff and healthcare organizations to adapt to ensure quality and cost-effective care. Advances in technology such as computers, cellphones and other mobile devices enabled healthcare professionals the ability to virtually monitor and treat patients. 

The use of telemedicine is not intended to replace traditional in-person treatment, but to work in partnership with it. Virtual care offers clinicians a platform where they can meet the patient where they are without ever having to travel themselves. 

It improves overall quality of medical care by saving resources, reducing costs for patients and providers and improving workflow. Since the pandemic, telemedicine has successfully been adopted in a variety of specialties and areas of practice such as endocrinology, gastroenterology, psychiatric care and military care. 

1. Endocrinology

Telehealth has become a common form of care within endocrinology. Diabetes management has had the highest telehealth adoption rate among diseases, according to a Doximity report. The study found that over 67% of physicians thought that access to telemedicine helped build trust with patients from marginalized communities. 

Diabetes is a lifelong disease and must be continuously managed by the patient and their healthcare team. For patient populations with limited access to healthcare, such as those in more rural areas, telemedicine allows providers to monitor their diabetic patients more regularly. Additionally, patients are able to have more frequent and timely check-ins with the reduced cost of travel. 

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is a great asynchronous method that enables patients to communicate real-time blood glucose levels to their providers. The continuous glucose monitoring improves glycemic control and A1C levels. RPM supports patient self-management and early problem recognition allowing clinicians to adjust medication dosage as needed. 

2. Gastroenterology 

Before COVID-19, telemedicine was used in gastroenterology to facilitate patient care in chronic diseases; such as liver disease and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), which do not require repeated physical examination. Currently, it is also being used to treat conditions such as; Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn's Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Colorectal Cancer.

Like other patients with chronic conditions, patients with digestive diseases have high non-adherence rates. This results in increased healthcare costs and decreased efficiency. The use of telemedicine can combat non-adherence rates by giving the provider access to life at home. 

For example, a patient could have had a dosage or medication change. But when it came time to refill, they accidentally refilled their previous prescription. When the provider is able to conduct more frequent check-ins, they can make sure the patient is taking the correct medication by asking them to show a real-time visual. If they are using the wrong one, the patient can be corrected. 

Researchers have found that patient satisfaction ranges from 75% to 100% in virtual gastroenterology care. The use of telemedicine ensures patients can accurately track disease progress and close the gaps between visits. Other telemedicine benefits in gastroenterology include: 

  • Improved quality care

  • Optimized time management

  • Closer exchange between physicians

  • Better patient retention

3. Psychiatric care

Approximately 1 in 5 Americans live with a mental illness, but a majority of them do not receive the care they need. There are many obstacles that prevent people from receiving treatment, including stigma, limited access to mental health services and lack of public knowledge in mental health. However, through virtual care delivery, that is changing. 

The use of telemedicine has been effective in decreasing the stigma and fear by giving patients the option to receive care from the comfort of their home. In fact, studies have shown that the use of telepsychiatry on children has seen positive reactions. This has to do with the ability of the provider to see into the child's environment. Something that was not easily accessible prior to virtual care.

Convenience is a huge benefit in psychiatric care allowing patients to schedule appointments during their breaks or take them in their car. Telepsychiatry also gives an understaffed yet high demand practice the flexibility they need to see and treat patients. Individual therapy, client education, medication management, psychiatric evaluations and diagnosis are all made easier to schedule and maintain through telemedicine.  

4. Military Care 

The Department of Defense (DoD) has long been a national and international leader in the implementation of health technologies for clinical purposes. From the field of battle, the DoD brought the use of telehealth to its veterans making healthcare available throughout their return

Field of battle

In 1993, the Army used telehealth in Somalia to remotely analyze imaging studies (Health Affairs). Since then, the U.S. military has expanded telehealth, providing services in 18 time zones, 30 countries and territories and over 60 specialties. 

Telehealth enables efficient identification of injuries to decide if evacuations are necessary, thus saving many soldiers’ lives. While allowing medical officers in dangerous areas to access experts remotely without placing them in harm’s way. 


The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is an integrated healthcare organization for military veterans. They have over 1,000 facilities that span the U.S. providing care to more than 9 million veterans. However, the closest VA healthcare facility could still be hours away for most veterans. 

According to the VHA, approximately 45% of VA telehealth patients reside in a rural or remote area. Telemedicine allows veterans to receive rehabilitation, mental health and physical therapy among other healthcare options through the VHA. Not only making healthcare accessible but easing the obstacles in the way. 

Increased patient satisfaction

Due to its many advantages, it’s likely telemedicine is here to stay. From supporting people who live in rural or underserved areas to chronic disease management, it has been successful in lowering barriers to healthcare delivery and improving patient access.

Telemedicine adoption continues to grow among specialties and organizations to improve provider and patient outcomes. Areas such as rheumatology, cardiology and sports medicine have had success in their adoption of telemedicine as well. 

Powering patient care for clinicians 

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