Marginally more important? I was able to have a post-COVID assessment without needing to be in a waiting room coughing all over everyone, so from a public health perspective I think its quite handy. My mother also has had telehealth visits, but she is not technically savvy and the bandwidth in her house is not the best, so she has struggled with it. There will definitely be an access divide without rural broadband, leaving out the very people who need healthcare access the most.
To add some nuance to a simplistic answer:
Do I desire more telehealth options as a patient? Yes.
Do I utilized telehealth in my personal health interactions? Rarely, because I don't have the option from the providers whom I choose to utilize.
Do I believe that telehealth functions can address many current issues with timely access to care? Yes, especially in "health care deserts"
Do I believe that organizations who truly embrace telehealth, including the full customer experience, can grow into new markets and thus continue to expand? Absolutely.
It seems that many organizations are choosing to quickly forget some of the innovations discovered during COVID, which is a pity.
Telehealth use is inevitable.
1) People are living longer but with more complex and chronic conditions.
2) There was a provider and nursing shortage before the pandemic and the last two years has accelerated the shrinking of the workforce.
3) Costs continue to rise for patients and providers.
4) Payment models are shifting to value based care.
5) Access to timely care is still a challenge.
More individuals in need are not receiving treatment. Telehealth is a great first step to reach someone where they are.