The coronavirus may end up beingthe big nudge in favor of telemedicine that helps establish itpermanently as a mainstream medical offering.

For years, telehealth providers have been trying to convinceskeptical consumers that sitting in a waitingroom and sterile doctor's office is not a necessary requirement ofmedical care. And now that consumers are finally seeing the valueof communicating with a health care provider virtually, telehealthproviders, much like the rest of the health care system right now,just can't keep up with demand.

"This week, patient visit volume spiked 50 percent over theprior week and continues to rise," said Teladoc, a publicly tradedprovider of telemedicine services in a March 13 press release.

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