The COVID-19 pandemic places significant strain on the U.S. healthcare system due to the high number of coronavirus cases. During the pandemic, there was much unknown about the virus, its course of the disease, COVID-19 diagnosis, treatments, or other imperative information needed to contain the virus. Resources within the healthcare system, such as PPE and healthcare workers, were in short supply and exacerbated the difficulty of managing the viral outbreak. Peer-reviewed articles suggest that telehealth, the application of electronic information and telecommunication technologies in healthcare, proved useful in public health and clinical care during the 2020 public health emergency due to a novel virus. The scoping review broadly assessed themes of telehealth’s strengths and weaknesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings could suggest how virtual medicine may be a helpful tool to improve access in addition to the quality of care in the future of medicine. Assessments of case studies suggest that telehealth helped provide care to large patient volumes by aiding with communication, data collection, triage, remote patient monitoring, and critical care. Limitations of expanding telehealth subsequent to the pandemic include, but not limited to, a lack of national standards for practice and restrictions of utility for certain populations. Populations may include those with low socioeconomic status, specific cultural practices, and beliefs, or physical and cognitive ability barriers. Outlining the benefits and limitations of telehealth may suggest how virtual medicine can provide valuable in day-to-day medical practices and other pathogenic outbreaks.
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