Patients may not have access to transportation or may not want to come to a medical center at this dangerous moment. But, Parodi notes, most people have a smartphone. And this is how the pandemic accelerated the adoption of telemedicine—as a solution, a lifeline, a connection.
At the height of early stay-at-home orders in the spring, about 90 percent of Kaiser’s primary care visits were being done either by video or over the phone. “The nature of the way we function as a society will fundamentally change. The nature of what work looks like, what a restaurant looks like is going to change,” Parodi says. “And I think you are going to find that a significant amount of health care is virtual.”
Even when medicine doesn’t all hap-pen over the internet or over the phone, it may still happen more often at home.
“If you think of what this could open the door to,” Parodi says, “it could open the door for skilled nursing at home.” And people generally heal better at home.
“I like to give the example that it’s whole-person care. Where we are understanding what kind of food are you eating. What medicines are on your table,” he says. “I think you don’t really know a person until you’ve walked in their shoes or been in their home.”
And, strangely, a pandemic could deliver health care providers to our front doors.