Hi, I’m Dr. Jenny Yu, Healthline’s Medical Expert and Lonely Planet Travel Health Expert. Welcome to my column, where each week I’ll share stories and insights, experiences and opportunities, and perspectives on how you can take the "well" traveled path in your journeys. 

So many aspects of our lives have changed since the onset of this pandemic. Though we can lament its many negative impacts on daily life, we can also choose to focus on some of the positive aspects as well. Whether it’s the time we’ve had to reflect on our priorities, spend with family, or reimagine our work-life balance, we all can reflect on our own silver linings.

One of the silver linings of experiencing a pandemic in this era is the ubiquity of technology ⁠— specifically the tech platforms that have allowed us to stay connected. This allowed us to reimagine our work, home and lifestyle behaviors. Unsurprisingly, the widespread adoption of a number of technologies were accelerated as a result of the pandemic, according to a recent report from McKinsey. 

Healthline: What Are the Benefits and Advantages of Telemedicine?

Access has always been a challenge in healthcare settings ⁠— one further compounded by the pandemic. Platforms for virtual care and tele-health did exist prior to the pandemic; however, the urgent need for access has accelerated their adoption in the past two years. And this is good news, especially for travelers. 

Close up of a father with his son consulting with their doctor over a video call on the laptop.
Telemedicine can make travel easier for some © Getty Images/Marko Geber

As we re-imagine how we live and work in an increasingly remote/hybrid environment, many of us are building travel itineraries around work and play. Depending on where we’re traveling, seeking healthcare can pose certain challenges. For non-emergencies, readily available virtual care helps provide a sense of reassurance that healthcare advice is only a device and a reliable internet connection away.

There are various ways in which you can connect with your own provider, like through messaging platforms or video platforms such as doxy.me, which provide comfort and familiarity. If you live with a chronic condition, connecting with your own healthcare provider from anywhere in the world may change how you think about travel. 

Healthline: How Telehealth Is Making Healthcare More Inclusive for Millions

Other apps, such as Healthtap and Doctor on Demand, are stand-alone solutions that provide the ease and accessibility of an urgent care visit right on your mobile device. These solutions ease access challenges to reliable healthcare providers whether you are in the plains of Montana or a digital nomad in Lisbon

The pandemic has forced the adoption of various tech advances: the expansion of virtual care breaks down certain barriers to care, and its evolution should continue to bring accessibility, convenience, and quality to the care delivery model. And this is a silver lining that gives us more freedom to roam. 

For more information on COVID-19 and travel, check out Lonely Planet's Health Hub.

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