Opinion: Trusting relationships are the core of medicine. Can telehealth support them?

A number of promising new digital health companies have surfaced in the past two years, prompted in part by the demand for telehealth visits that soared in the first wave of Covid-19. These companies have been fueled by a wave of breathless hype and tens of billions of dollars in venture and private equity investment.

Far from being a new kind of health system, as feverish boosters suggest, the plethora of virtual-first digital health offerings — in which patients’ initial entry point is with a virtual provider they do not know — are a clumsy power grab intended to detach patients from trusted relationships with established caregivers, using instant access as bait, in order to control their downstream care.

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Opinion: Trusting relationships are the core of medicine. Can telehealth support them?

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