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Pandemic prompts more telehealth services

Posted at 7:10 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 19:10:50-04

INDIANAPOLIS – The pandemic is prompting many people to find new ways to connect with health care providers. IU Health says they’re seeing a major increase in the number of people using telehealth, meaning virtual visits.

"My first time using it was with my son back in March for physical therapy and all the COVID stuff started happening,” said Stefany Edmonds, a new mother of three.

Edmonds said going into the office can be nerve-wracking right now, as her son Lucas has 22-Q-13, or Phelan-McDermid syndrome, which puts him at a high risk for respiratory issues.

She said this way, they were still able to check in with his doctors and therapists without having to go into the office. Leaders with IU Health say the pandemic is prompting more and more people to try virtual visits.

“We saw before the pandemic some trepidation, some nervousness about it,” said Ian McDaniel, the executive director of virtual care at IU Health. “Most of us have grown up - we go in, see a physician in-person they have to lay their hands on us and there is certainly a large percentage of care that needs to happen that way. What we've identified through the pandemic is that there is also a good portion of care that we can deliver virtually.”

Some people say they’ll keep using it for certain appointments even after the pandemic.

“It's so easy,” Edmonds said. “Just open up the computer or I've done it on my sons iPad before you just open it up and it is there. You sign in 2 to 5 minutes before and then you are done and just go about your day.”