While it might be hard to believe, the American Telemedicine Association was first established in 1993—long before virtual healthcare was a cornerstone of industry conversations. In fact, the concept of telehealth has been around for decades, with some instances going as far back as the 1920s where medical advice was sent by Morse code and voice radio to sailors in need. During the next few decades, the world took notice with Japan using CATV systems for image transmissions in the 1970s. And in 1972, medical information was sent across 4 Mhz TV channels and several telephone lines between Aomori Teishin Hospital and Tokyo Teishin Hospital.
Despite the long-standing awareness and early use cases of telemedicine, widespread adoption is still lacking. New research from Xerox found that only 16% of U.S. adults have used virtual health for non-urgent advice, exams, or counseling…even though 61% are willing to do so.