Telemedicine Use by Specialty

According to an article appearing in the Medical Society of the State of New York in their March 2019 newsletter, a little more than 15 percent of physicians work in a practice that uses telemedicine to interact with patients. However, 11.2 percent work in practices that use telemedicine to interact with other health care professionals according to a study published in Health Affairs

Researchers has found that specialists using telemedicine the most to interact with patients include radiologists at 39.5 percent, psychiatrists 27.8 percent, and cardiologists at 23.1 percent. Specialists use telemedicine the least to interact with patients under the care of allergists/immunologists at 6.1 percent, gastroenterologists at 7.9 percent and ob-gyns at 9.3 percent.

It was also found that almost an entirely different set of specialists used telemedicine o interact with other healthcare professionals. The category of specialists interacting via telemedicine the most are emergency physicians at 38.8 percent, pathologists at 30.4 percent, and radiologists at 25.5 percent.

Specialists were asked which telemedicine modalities they used the most in their practice. The categories were video conferencing, remote patient monitoring, or storing and forwarding data. Videoconferencing is used by 31.6 percent of emergency physicians and about 25 percent by psychiatrists, and pathologists in their practices.

Cardiologists and nephrologists are the biggest users of remote patient monitoring while radiologists and pathologists are the biggest users of telemedicine’s data storing and forwarding function.  It was also found that telemedicine use is less common in smaller or physician-owned practices as found in an AMA survey of 3,500 physicians which suggests that the cost to implement the technology can be an issue.

To view the March 2019 issue of the Medical Society of the State of New York newsletter, go to, click on publications and go to the news on New York.


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