On the demand for telemedicine: Evidence from the COVID‐19 pandemic

Abstract Telemedicine can expand access to health care at relatively low cost. Historically, however, demand for telemedicine has remained low. Using administrative records and a difference-in-differences methodology, we estimate the change in demand for telemedicine experienced after the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic and the imposition of mobility restrictions. We find that the number of telemedicine calls made during the pandemic increased by 230 percent compared to the pre-pandemic period. The effects were mostly driven by older individuals with preexisting conditions who used the service for internal medicine consultations. The demand for telemedicine remained relatively high even a...

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