Words From Our Chief Medical Officer: Telehealth & Access to Care

On August 2nd, Dr. Richard Boxer, the chief tele health officer of Pager and the chief medical officer of Well Via, published an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal. He outlined what positive aspects telehealth can bring to the medical industry as a whole. With 103 million people in the US living in areas with less than adequate availability to primary care providers, it is time that the country stops relying solely on traditional medical visits to help all of its patients. Telehealth can be used just as easily as a face to face doctors visit to treat basic ailments, such as ear infections, or give direction to seek emergency medical help, in the case of serious issues such as heart attacks.

We, at HelloMD, see telehealth as a way to bring treatment and recommendations to people in their own home, giving each person equal access to medical care. Here is how our Chief Medical officer feels about telehealth and its roll in the medical marijuana, and medical industry, at large.

Dr. Boxer has made some salient points regarding his “When the Doctor Is Always a Phone Call Away” (op-ed August 2). Another major aspect, besides being “efficient” as he mentions, is that telemedicine brings access to millions of people unable to visit a physician’s office. Whether this is due to being house-bound, distance, etc, the ability to “see” a physician in the comfort of your own home to discuss their concerns makes medical care truly available to all. Unfortunately, except for California and Nevada, this access is cut off for millions of people when it concerns medical marijuana recommendations.

While 23 states plus the District of Colombia have made medical marijuana legal, only California and Nevada allow physicians to evaluate patients remotely and when appropriate, make recommendations for medical marijuana. Patients from other states must travel, park, and spend time waiting, to see a physician either far from their home or sometimes in an undesirable part of town. As the first telehealth medical marijuana evaluation company, we at HelloMD have found that the vast majority of the thousands of patients that we have evaluated appreciate the immediate access that can be provided using this technology. The other states should get on board and allow this same access of care to their population.

Perry Solomon, MD

Chief Medical Officer


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