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ATA2022: Where is Teledentistry in the World of Telehealth?

The American Telemedicine Association just finished their Annual Meeting in Boston, MA this week. It is remarkable what is going on in telehealth!

Here are just a few of the areas in which significant thought, research, and industry focus is directed:

-Expanded use cases for telehealth

-Telehealth delivery software that is intuitive, customizable, and easy to use for the provider and consumer

-Quantification of outcomes in patient care via telehealth

The most interesting thing that I saw at the meeting was in the exhibit hall. The amount of vendors in the telehealth space is increasing at an exponential pace. Not only are there innovative new products and services but more important is who is selling them. The big players have all entered the space: Walmart, Best Buy, and Amazon. What does this mean? There has been major investment in telehealth and at this point it is here to stay and not a fad that saw its apogee during the COVID-19 restrictions.

Where does teledentistry stand? Industry is still driving innovation, integration, and utilization in teledentistry. Companies are investing heavily to bring teledentistry up to the level that has been established in telehealth by organizations like the ATA. Unfortunately, dental trade organizations are still pushing restrictive and anti-competitive state legislation and rule promulgation by state dental boards that is aimed at curbing what can be done in teledentistry. The American Teledentistry Association is not going to let this happen. We are committed to patient-centered healthcare and want to see greater access to dental care with improved patient outcomes.

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