Dr. Alex Jadad, founder of Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, was interviewed by Paul Webster for an April 2020 article in The Lancet on the use of telemedicine during COVID-19.
In the article, Alex talks about how the pandemic has presented an opportunity to overcome regulatory barriers and make virtual health care available to more people.
“Whether I’m deep in Malawi or deep in the Amazon, all I need is a mobile phone and a connection that allows me to talk to a clinician. That’s all it takes for a clinical encounter. These are god-like tools for medicine. There’s no need for us to wait for any more sophisticated infrastructure than that”, says Jadad, who is advising on virtual health-care adoption strategies for health groups in Colombia.
“The regulatory barriers that have held virtual health care back for all these decades were never justifiable”, Jadad avers. “[COVID-19] is an opportunity to blow all these barriers away. And the question now is ‘how far are we willing to go?’”