During the last 20 years, telemedicine has evolved in Quebec despite several barriers. We studied how a university health centre in Montreal implemented a strategy to enhance the use of telemedicine with the deployment of appropriate infrastructures, continuous training, and the use of advanced technologies, before and during the pandemic. COVID-19 accelerated the use of telemedicine by overcoming some pre-existing barriers. However, telemedicine was mainly limited to a distance consultation during the pandemic using telephone calls or videoconference. The future of telemedicine depends on lifting these obstacles. We need to better define telemedicine and in-person medicine to guarantee the quality of medical and professional acts. We propose some strategies to achieve these goals, combining cultural change, continuous training, new technologies to improve quality of care, and a vision of healthcare with telemedicine oriented on value creation.
A paper by Fabrice Brunet, MD ; Kathy Malas, MPO ; and Marie-Eve Desrosiers, MSc