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Healthcare Administration

The Intriguing Opportunities  and Obligations  of Telehealth

Ann Mond Johnson


The practice of medicine can take advantage of the same kinds of technologies that allow us to stay in touch with friends and relatives around the world or let us manage our money and purchase goods at any time, from anywhere.

These capabilities and more are creating intriguing opportunities for telehealth and its ability to reduce and eventually eliminate variations in accessibility to healthcare, improve cost efficiencies, and advance the quality of care for all.

Telehealth tools include artificial intelligence (AI), virtual care, remote monitoring, digital therapeutics, and mobile health, as well as “store-and-forward” or asynchronous technologies that securely transmit data collected from wearable devices, sensors, or other devices to help inform clinicians’ decisions during diagnosis and treatment.

Creating new opportunities

The same technologies that support web-based business meetings enable virtual exams and care coordination with providers or specialists who are located anywhere in the world. The sensors that power consumer smartwatches and fitness bands enable remote health-monitoring devices to help patients and their doctors manage chronic health conditions efficiently and cost-effectively. Expanding technologies such as big data, AI, and natural language processing promise to help overwhelmed physicians more effectively support their patient populations, allowing more time for one-on-one interactions  —  virtually or in person.


It’s that sentiment that drives us at the ATA. The organization was formed by trailblazing researchers, clinicians, and academics over 25 years ago, but much has changed since then. There are more uses for technology in healthcare than we can imagine today. Its widespread adoption will ensure that location no longer defines Americans’ access to healthcare.

Looking to the future

There are still challenges, including reimbursement and an array of federal and state regulations. And just as regulations and payment models need to catch up with technology, the ATA is working hard to keep up with the industry. We’re eager to help our members reimagine healthcare, and as we do that, we’re expanding the definition of who our members are.

As the only organization completely focused on advancing telehealth, the ATA is working to change the way the world thinks about healthcare. We are committed to ensuring that everyone has access to safe, affordable, appropriate, and effective care when and where they need it.

We’ll know we’ve accomplished our goals when everyone has access to clinically appropriate care regardless of where they live, using the best technologies the industry has to offer. I hope you’ll join us in that mission.

Ann Mond Johnson, CEO, ATA, [email protected]

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