Telemedicine is becoming increasingly popular: visits by rural Medicare beneficiaries increased 28% per year between 2004 and 2013, with 107 955 telemedicine visits in 2013 (Mehrotra A et al. JAMA. 2016;315:2015-2016).
Now, with new data showing that nonmedical use of prescription opioids doubled in the United States over a recent 10-year period (http://bit.ly/29n9C5H), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is evaluating the potential role of telemedicine in helping treat the growing problem of opioid dependence in rural central Appalachia.
Abbasi J. Opioid Epidemic in Appalachia Receives USDA Telemedicine Funding . JAMA. 2016;316(8):808. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.11182