Caitlin Clement|3/28/2024|4 min read

5 Most and Least Popular Specialties for Telehealth in 2024

The top and bottom ranked specialities according to Epic data

African American female pregnant on video call with African American male doctor

While it’s slightly down from its pandemic peak, telehealth usage remains above pre pandemic levels. Among the specialities that have adopted virtual care protocols, there are some who have thrived in the age of remote healthcare—and some who are better suited to an in-person visit. In an analysis of over 475 million telehealth and in person encounters between Q2 2019 and Q3 2023, Epic identified the healthcare specialities with the highest and lowest usage of telehealth. 

Most Popular:

  • Mental Health: 36.8%

  • Infectious Disease: 10.6%

  • Obstetristics (OB): 10%

  • Transplant: 9.9%

  • Neurology: 9.5%

Least Popular:

  • ENT: 1.7%

  • Orthopedics: 1.1%

  • Ophthalmology: 0.6%

  • Wound Care: 0.2%

  • Podiatry: 0.2%

Also, it’s important to note that as technology and healthcare advances, it’s likely this list will shift. Prior to the pandemic, telehealth was utilized less than 1% across healthcare. Now, it’s become a common method of care delivery. 

Next, we’ll dive deeper into our top specialties and identify why their delivery of care is more suited to telehealth than others.

Mental Health

Mental health is by far the largest utilizer of telehealth among all specialties with about 37% of all visits being virtual. When you think about what mental health care looks like as a practice, the increased need for its services and its recent decrease in stigma, it’s easy to understand why. 

Nearly 50 million Americans are dealing with a mental health illness according to Mental Health America. Given the current provider shortage and levels of burnout facing the industry, telehealth has become a solution to meeting patient demand without exhausting more of our already limited resources. 

Thanks to digital health innovation, mental health providers and their patients have access to easily accessible digital tools like video conferencing, remote patient monitoring and even mental health apps.  Additionally, the use of generative AI technology in EHR software can streamline clinical workflows with more efficient coding, scheduling and charting processes. Meaning, providers spend less time on administrative tasks and more time seeing patients. 

More importantly, telehealth has made it easier for mental health providers to follow-up on symptoms and on-going treatments.

Infectious Disease

After the COVID-19 pandemic, we all saw just how crucial telehealth was to the containment and treatment of infectious diseases. Especially during public emergencies when emergency services are limited, telehealth has proved to be an invaluable tool for triaging and treating non-urgent cases. Thus reducing the transmission risk and preventing more emergency cases. 

Quarantine support

It also proves useful in providing support for patients who are required to quarantine due to exposure to infectious diseases or those who have tested positive for a contagious illness. Healthcare providers can monitor patients' symptoms remotely, offer guidance on self-care and determine if further medical intervention is necessary.

Access to infectious disease specialists

Lasty, telehealth expands access to infectious disease specialists, particularly in regions where these specialists may be scarce. Patients in rural or underserved areas can benefit from virtual consultations with infectious disease experts, improving the quality of care they receive.

Obstetristics (OB)

While some in-person visits are essential to prenatal care, there are ways telehealth can benefit expectant mothers and their providers. The first one simply being convenience. Anyone who has been pregnant or knows someone who’s been pregnant can tell you that life doesn’t simply stop. You still have responsibilities in your personal and professional life that can make it difficult to attend every single prenatal visit. For those in rural areas, travel time can become a barrier as well. 

Remote monitoring

Telehealth platforms can facilitate remote monitoring of maternal vital signs, fetal growth and other indicators of prenatal health. Devices such as blood pressure monitors, fetal heart rate monitors and blood glucose meters can be used at home, with data transmitted securely to healthcare providers for review. This is especially helpful for high risk pregnancies where monitoring these vital signs becomes more frequent. 

Continuity of care

Regular communication via virtual care visits facilitates early detection of potential complications, timely intervention and personalized care planning to optimize maternal and fetal health. 

Postpartum care

Even after the baby is born, it’s important that patients continue to receive postpartum care. Telehealth extends beyond prenatal care to encompass postpartum support and follow-up consultations. New mothers can receive guidance on breastfeeding, postpartum recovery and newborn care remotely, easing the transition to parenthood and addressing any concerns or complications that may arise.


Now, this is one you may not have immediately thought of when guessing the most popular telehealth specialties. Here are a few reasons why a provider would use digital health tools in their transplant care plan.

Reduced risk of infections

Transplant patients, particularly those who have undergone solid organ transplantation, often have compromised immune systems due to immunosuppressive medications. Telehealth minimizes the risk of exposure to infectious diseases by reducing the need for in-person visits to healthcare facilities, where they may encounter sick individuals.

Frequent Monitoring

Telehealth platforms enable transplant teams to monitor patients' health remotely through virtual consultations and remote monitoring devices. Healthcare providers can track vital signs, medication adherence and potential complications, allowing for early intervention and timely adjustments to treatment plans.

Psychosocial support 

Receiving a transplant can have a huge effect on a patient's mental state and become an isolating event. Telehealth can be used to provide psychosocial support for transplant patients, including counseling services, support groups and educational resources. These services help patients cope with the emotional and psychological challenges associated with transplantation to improve their overall quality of life.


Ever heard of telestroke? For patients who have experienced a stroke, virtual care can become an essential part of their recovery process. Falling under that chronic care umbrella—requiring frequent follow-ups and monitoring—stroke care can benefit from telehealth in a few ways. 

Access to specialists

As we try to navigate and deal with the provider shortage in the United States, telehealth has become a great tool to connect patients in need of specialized care to the right specialist. Stroke patients can consult with neurologists remotely, reducing the need for travel and long wait times for appointments.

Follow-up stroke care and rehabilitation

Once a patient has had a stroke, they usually have a long road of recovery ahead of them. This makes continued follow-ups and rehabilitation resources essential for faster recovery times and increased quality of life. 

Essentially, telestroke consultations allow neurologists to assess patients remotely, expedite the delivery of thrombolytic therapy or other interventions and coordinate post-stroke rehabilitation services. 

Reduced healthcare costs

With chronic care treatment, healthcare costs can add up for the patient and the clinic or hospital they’re being treated by. Telehealth can help reduce healthcare costs associated with neurology care by minimizing unnecessary hospitalizations, emergency room visits and travel expenses. By providing timely access to neurology consultations and interventions, telehealth helps optimize resource utilization and improve healthcare efficiency.

Powering all healthcare specialities

At OpenLoop, a telehealth support company delivering full-stack digital health solutions, our mission is to power healing anywhere by offering healthcare organizations the virtual care tools, clinical expertise and administrative support they need to expand access to quality care for their patients. Within our network of industry-leading clients, our seven core solutions support a wide range of specialties and practices. From provider staffing to regulatory compliance, we offer solutions that help expand and scale your telehealth offerings nationwide. 

Interested in learning more? Get in touch here!

Our full suite of white-labeled virtual care services include: