On Track to the Future of Telehealth

Authored by Joe Kvedar, President-Elect ATA

This year, the ATA was on track to enter a new chapter in the organization’s history — under the strong leadership of CEO Ann Mond Johnson, with a revitalized and dedicated team, a growing and dynamic membership, and a clear vision to accelerate the adoption of telehealth. And then, overnight, telehealth was catapulted into the spotlight as a vital solution in response to COVID-19.

As the trusted voice of telehealth, the ATA has played an integral role in galvanizing our industry, representing our membership in Washington and amplifying the vital work our members are doing on the front lines. The ATA has been working closely with the Administration, CMS, HHS, and other key legislators to affect significant changes at the Federal level and ensure expanded licensure waivers at the state level. You may also have noticed the ATA and our members featured in national, local, and trade media coverage, and participating in podcasts and webinars, reaching millions of consumers, providers, policy, and decision-makers.

Now, as we prepare for the ‘new normal’ and the exciting role telehealth will play in healthcare delivery post-COVID, we are engaging with our members, partner organizations, and industry stakeholders to create permanent expansion of telehealth. These efforts include building the right market conditions, policies, and prioritizing initiatives needed to accelerate telehealth adoption.

Now, more than ever, our members and the healthcare community-at-large will benefit from our collective knowledge, front-line experiences, and vision for integrating telehealth into the fabric of care delivery.

Today, we launch the new ATA blog, The Source, to create a platform to collect and widely share that knowledge, exchange learnings, and connect our members and stakeholders. Here you’ll find a regular cadence of current topics and issues in telehealth and virtual care, including specific challenges, opportunities, successes, lessons learned, and expert opinions.

I and others from the ATA will be regularly posting to the blog, and we welcome our valued members and stakeholders to submit content and engage in the dialogue. In my years of experience with blogging, I’ve learned that this medium is at its best when it results in a conversation rather than a soliloquy.

I hope you have heard that, in light of the current health crisis, we moved the annual ATA conference to a virtual platform, now taking place on June 22-26. This new blog will feature content from some of our more than 200 speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors on the latest advances, lessons learned, and projections for the future of telehealth.

Telehealth can extend healthcare capacity and access to personalized, quality care, where and when the patient needs it. We’ve known this and believed in the power of telehealth for years. At last, we have the opportunity to apply telehealth solutions to transform care.

We are on track to establish telehealth in all aspects of care delivery — from routine mental health visits and remote patient monitoring to specialized care consultations and highly personalized health interactions.

I look forward to learning more about your ideas, innovations, and insights. Join us as we begin that new chapter in history, where telehealth is health.

At Partners HealthCare, Dr. Joe Kvedar has focused on driving innovation, creating the market, and gaining acceptance for connected health for nearly three decades. He is now applying his expertise, insights, and influence to advancing the adoption of telehealth and virtual care technologies at the national level. He is Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School, President-Elect of ATA, Co-Chair of the AMA’s Digital Medicine Payment Advisory Group, and Editor in-Chief of npj Digital Medicine, a Nature Research journal.