Use of telemedicine increasing during pandemic

Staff Writer

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about many changes to the way we live (OR brought about many changes in our daily lives) including how to maintain one’s health.
“I need to emphasize how important it is for everyone in our communities to continue to seek out and receive healthcare,”said Dr. Shaun Sheehan, Penn Highlands Healthcare director of emergency medicine and PHH COVID-19 Task Force leader.
Penn Highlands has developed many novel ways to maintain physical distancing and to provide healthcare safely. Among them is the establishment of the MyHealthNow app which allows patients to interact with doctors virtually.
Research on tele-health services has demonstrated they are safe and effective for most conditions. In addition these types of services have surged in use throughout the U.S. since the start of the pandemic.
According to Sheehan, downloads of the Penn Highlands MyHealthNow app have increased by 800 percent in recent weeks.
In this region major risk factors for coronary artery disease, such as obesity, smoking, and diabetes, are higher than national averages and are actually some of the highest within our state. These happen to be some of the same conditions that put individuals at higher risk of becoming infected with COVID-19, so you can understand why patients should make the decision to continue to seek care,” Sheehan said.