Telemedicine is getting trendy, but doctors may not be keeping up

For years, doctors have been told to look at the patient — not the computer — when providing medical care. What we haven’t been told is what to do when there’s only a computer.

Telemedicine is perhaps the most rapidly evolving area in health care. About 15 million Americans receive some form of remote medical care every year. Investment in on-demand health-care services is estimated at $1 billion annually, according to Accenture Consulting. Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest integrated delivery system, provides more visits virtually than it does in person.

All of which raises an important but overlooked question: Do doctors know how to use telemedicine?

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