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Approaching 100 years ago, it was standard practice for physicians in the United States to visit patients’ homes. Fifty years ago, about 1% of doctors made house calls. It still occurs, and there’s been a resurgence of interest. But telemedicine practices have experienced a far greater growth.

An aging population explains much of the current trend. Twenty years ago, 36 million Americans—about 12% of the population—were at least age 65. By the end of 2022, the segment increased to 17.3%.

Generally speaking, older individuals needing medical care are less likely to leave their residences for routine medical visits. The lingering effects of COVID-19 further changed physician-patient interaction.

Lee Health offers telehealth and e-visits with physicians and other medical experts via Zoom, conference calls and other online options.

The health provider explains: “Telemedicine helps people who can’t get a quick appointment to see their primary care doctor or don’t want to wait in a packed emergency room for something that’s not quite an emergency. Dialing up a doctor on a digital platform works when you have a cold or the flu, too, because let’s face it: When you are sick, the last thing you feel like doing is getting in the car and driving across town.”

According to its program details, the medical center service called Lee TeleHealth Video Visit provides 24/7 access to a doctor from your home. It suggests patients use the option for reasons that include transportation issues, a minor injury that doesn’t require urgent care or the unavailability of a primary care physician.

“The service not only lowers health care costs, but also studies have shown it improves health outcomes,” says Venkat Prasad, M.D., chief medical officer of Lee Physician Group. “Patients can use the TeleHealth program to avoid interrupting their workday to visit their doctor’s office. The program saves time and money, and the program extends the reach of our health care team by providing the right care, at the right place, at the right time.”

A Southern California-based national television platform proving “engagement, education and care,” Independa reported in 2022 that more than 90% of Americans used telehealth during the year. Many patients’ vision, dentistry and internal medicine issues were resolved without office visits.

The Independa Health Hub, available on LG Smart TVs (made in 2021 or newer) helps family members and organizations provide better care remotely, assisting older adults to be more independent.

“We are thrilled to be on the forefront of telehealth adoption with Independa,” says Kian Saneii, founder and CEO of Independa. “Our research shows that for the 97% of Americans who own a smart TV, there is a preference for using familiar technology like the television to provide more ease, comfort and accessibility to valuable health resources.”

The Independa system partners include CapitalRx, CoroHealth, Ventura, Senior Savvy, SurvivorNet and WebMD.

Millennium Physician Group provides medical care in three states, including many locations throughout Florida. It also has a comprehensive telehealth component. During the pandemic, a company spokeswoman noted more than half of patients’ visits with physicians were conducted through telehealth. It now provides care to about one-third of the group’s patients.

While telehealth is increasingly prominent, medical practitioners and patients note it’s not as useful in certain circumstances as in-person medical care. A more thorough examination is integral to proper diagnosis and prescribed treatments.

The Florida Department of Health offers insight into telehealth practices, including state licensing and information for consumers considering using telehealth services. Topics range from prescribing medications to patient records. Visit

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