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Best practice guide

Telehealth for direct-to-consumer care
For providers Best practice guides

Introduction to direct-to-consumer telehealth

The COVID-19 public health emergency and changing health care policies have made providing care easier through telehealth. Now more than ever, health care professionals are offering telemedicine appointments as part of their regular practice.

Telehealth can take many forms. It can happen when patients visit their doctor’s office but get virtual care from another provider through a video consultation. Telehealth also happens when patients attend appointments virtually from their home, instead of at a clinic or formal health care setting. This type of “at home” telehealth is sometimes called direct-to-patient, direct-to-consumer, or on-demand care. It occurs when patients initiate an appointment and consult with a health care provider on their own device, on their own schedule. It can happen synchronously or asynchronously, depending on the goal of the appointment and the patient’s needs.

Types of direct-to-consumer telehealth

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