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Mobile technology has changed the world, and nowhere is that more evident than in the field of medicine. Many people are familiar with health apps for smartphones and messaging to get in touch with the doctor's office or be alerted to appointments. Telehealth is much more than that, however, and it offers numerous benefits to both patients and doctors. The system also needs to overcome a lot of challenges before telehealth can be used to its full potential across the United States.

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1. What Is Telehealth?

Telehealth is the use of virtual technology and telecommunication software to deliver healthcare in non-traditional ways. It takes many forms. Well-designed telehealth systems improve access for patient populations and reduce the demands on crowded hospitals and doctors' offices. There are environmental impacts, too. Because this care is remote instead of face-to-face, transportation and operational emissions are lower, as are energy consumption and general waste.

Telemedicine Telehealth Doctor SDI Productions / Getty Images
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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.