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5 Benefits of Virtual Care for Patients

Health professionals weigh in on the pros of telemedicine

Virtual health care can seem intimidating after a lifetime of in-office visits. But think of it as an additional tool to use to get the best care possible, says Matthew Faiman, M.D., who is affiliated with the Cleveland Clinic. “It isn’t meant to replace face-to-face care.” These are 5 benefits of virtual care for patients, according to health care professionals:

an illustration of a car

Illustration by Matthew Hollister

Virtual doctor visits can save you the time of commuting and sitting in a waiting room.


You waste more time than you think on routine doctor visits, whether it’s sitting in stop-and-go traffic or in a waiting room. “Virtual visits reduce travel time,” says George Go, M.D., of Kaiser Permanente Northwest.

Illustration of a man having a chronic health condition

Illustration by Matthew Hollister

Virtual-care technologies can monitor diabetes, high blood pressure and COPD.

Managing chronic conditions

Several hospital systems use virtual-care technologies to monitor ongoing health conditions — such as diabetes, high blood pressure and COPD — as frequently as daily, so they can act immediately if anything goes awry.

a photo of patient on pillow

Illustration by Matthew Hollister

Virtual care means having a doctor appointment right from your bed.

Treating urgent systems

The last thing you want when a fever or cough hits is to drag yourself out of bed to sit in a waiting room filled with other sick people. Virtual care lets you have an initial appointment right from your bed.

an illustration of a man between two screens

Illustration by Matthew Hollister

Telehealth reduces the number of appointments you'll make with doctors and specialists.

More efficient health care

One potential benefit of telehealth care is having primary doctors and specialists participating together in a virtual visit, reducing the number of appointments you need and, in many cases, the costs you pay.  

an Illustration of planet earth wrapped with stethoscope

Illustration by Matthew Hollister

Virtual doctor visits are convenient for those traveling or who live far from a city.

First-class care anywhere

If you live far from a city or are in another country, telehealth is helping to expand access to both doctors and services. “Retirees tend to travel a lot,” Go observes. “Virtual visits make it much easier to coordinate care.”