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Telemedicine exploding in popularity during coronavirus pandemic

Telemedicine is enhancing patient care during the coronavirus pandemic: From allowing patients to visit with doctors from their homes, to allowing parents to visit their babies in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Telemedicine exploding in popularity as hospital systems ramp up in the new world of social distancing.

Caregility, a telehealth platform that supports about 35 hospital systems around the country, is supporting about 200,000 patient visits a week.

“I have to believe that it has had impact on the number (of Covid-19 cases) and (flattening) the curve because all those folks are not traveling to a doctor’s office,” said Michael Brandofino, the president and chief operating officer for Caregility.

The company is partnering with Lee Health, which is seeing about 1,000 telehealth patients a day.

Lee Health waved fees for telehealth visits at the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic and scaled up quickly. A possibility because they’d already had processes for telemedicine in place, Brandofino said.

“I’ve heard more stories in the last few weeks about success with telehealth engagement than I had in the last several years,” said Dr. William Carracino, chief informatics officer for Lee Health.

Reporter:Lauren Sweeney
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