By Dan Campbell

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust the concept of telehealth into the spotlight, with most of us remaining at home for the past six weeks. Our health-care providers are encouraging us to communicate with them virtually, but what do we make of this concept that is new to many of us?

Science Pubs continues online for a second time with "Telehealth: Past, Present, and Future," scheduled for 7 p.m. May 13. It will be conducted using the Zoom platform. Folks are asked to RSVP by May 12 and will be emailed a Zoom link.

Tina Gustin and Carolyn Rutledge, faculty members from the School of Nursing in the College of Health Sciences, will examine what exactly telehealth is and show how it is far more than a Zoom visit with your doctor. They will also look at how telehealth has changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and what we can expect from telehealth in the future.

ODU established the Center for Telehealth Innovation, Education & Research (C-TIER) in 2019 with Gustin and Rutledge as co-directors. They have developed training videos that are being used across the country as many health-care providers have been forced to rapidly move to telehealth.

"Telehealth will change the way that providers practice medicine and patients receive care," said Gustin, assistant professor in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program (DNP). "While telehealth will not replace traditional care, it will bring care into the patient's home affording high-quality, immediate, cost-effective care."

"For the past 10 years, we have been one of the only academic health-care programs in the nation that has advocated for and provided telehealth education," added Rutledge, associate chair of the School of Nursing and director of the DNP. "Suddenly, we are being asked for help from educational institutions and health-delivery programs across the country as they realize its importance. Telehealth is well on its way to becoming a norm, not an oddity."

Audience members will once again have to get creative for this Science Pub and supply their own beverages!

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