COVID-19 pushed telemedicine ahead a decade: 4 quotes on virtual care innovation from Mayo physicians 

The COVID-19 pandemic has ignited telemedicine adoption, progressing the technology much further along than some Mayo Clinic physicians and executives expected, according to WIZM News Talk

Kevin Fitzgerald, MD, chair for outpatient practice at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse (Wis.), and Jennifer Brumm, MD, a pediatrician at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse, discussed telemedicine adoption at the health system during the pandemic and what may lie ahead for virtual care. 

Here are four quotes on telemedicine innovation from Dr. Fitzgerald and Dr. Brumm: 

1. On the rapid adoption of telemedicine during the pandemic: "Our CEO of Mayo has stated all along that we'd like to be doing that type of medicine by 2030," Dr. Fitzgerald said. "We really did it all in six to eight weeks." 

2. On the health system's increase of telemedicine visits, going from six video visits last year to already more than 500 this year: "Over a period of eight weeks, we really changed the practice remarkably, when there was a need," Dr. Fitzgerald said. 

3. On telemedicine working especially well with pediatric patients: "We're just kind of observing their behavior, their growth, their development, how they’re doing," Dr. Brumm said. "And instead of kind of being fearful of the [physician], they're dancing, singing, showing me their pets." 

4. On technology's potential to make up for lost physical aspects during telemedicine visits: "I think we're going to have technology to solve some of these issues because, so far, patients are giving us really positive feedback on being able to have video visits," Dr. Brumm said. "As we get better technology, probably pretty soon there will be something you can hook up to your iPhone that we can listen to your heart, measure your blood pressure with. We'll get there pretty quickly — quicker than we would have anticipated before COVID-19." 

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