When something innovative comes along, people instinctively compare it to something that already exists.
Automobiles in the early 1900s, for instance, were thought of as nothing more than motorized versions of the horse-drawn carriage (all revved up on “horsepower”). Before there were highways, gas stations and roadside motels, people could only envision what was, not what could be. A century later, our jobs, food sources, cultural institutions and communities all revolve around our motorized vehicles.
It almost always takes a generation for innovative technologies to gain proper recognition for all they can do.
In this century, telemedicine is one such innovation, underappreciated and underused.
Most physicians and patients view telemedicine (also: telehealth or virtual care) as a convenient alternative to an in-person medical visit. Granted, convenience is a notable benefit—one that appealed to millions of first-time users in the early days the coronavirus pandemic, when no one wanted to sit in a waiting room alongside people potentially infected with Covid-19.