During the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the major changes that has occurred in emergency medicine is the evolution of telemedicine. With relaxation of regulatory and administrative barriers, the use of this already available technology has rapidly expanded. Telemedicine provides opportunity to markedly decrease personal protective equipment (PPE) and reduce healthcare worker exposures. Moreover, with the convenience and availability of access to medical care via telemedicine, a more fundamental change in healthcare delivery in the United States is likely. The implementation of telemedicine in the emergency department (ED) in particular has great potential to prevent the iatrogenic spread of COVID-19 and protect health care workers. Challenges to widespread adoption of telemedicine include privacy concerns, limitation of physical examination, and concerns of patient experience. In this clinical review, we discuss ED telemedicine applications, logistics, and challenges in the COVID-19 era as well as recent regulatory and legal changes. In addition, examples of telemedicine use are described from 2 institutions. Examples of future applications of telemedicine within the realm of emergency medicine are also discussed.

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Published in Journal of the American College of Emergency Physician Open, v. 1, issue 6.

© 2020 The Authors

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

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