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Note: States with looser restrictions defined as CO, FL, GA, MS, MT, SC. States with tighter restrictions defined as CA, CT, NJ, NY, VT, WA. Data: Second Measure; Chart: Axios Visuals

Data shows that while telemedicine has boomed during the pandemic, its growth has varied depending on different states' lockdown policies.

Why it matters: As the pandemic begins to come under control, how lasting the telemedicine boom will be depends ultimately on whether the services can truly replace doctors.

By the numbers: A report from the consumer analytics company Second Measure demonstrates that the demand for telehealth services has skyrocketed since pandemic lockdowns began.

  • Year-over-year growth reached a five-year high of 287% in the week of May 11 and has since averaged weekly year-over-year growth of over 150%.
  • Not surprisingly, consumers have largely turned to telehealth because doctors' offices were closed or because they feared that in-person visits could expose them to the coronavirus.

Yes, but: Growth has actually been stronger in states that had looser COVID-19 restrictions than in stricter states, a trend that grew more pronounced in recent months.

  • One possible explanation is that as the coronavirus came under control in states with stricter restrictions like New York, consumers began to feel more comfortable going back to a doctor's office, notes Liyin Yeo of Second Measure.
  • The more recent increase in telemedicine use in looser states like Georgia also coincided with a spike in COVID-19 cases, which may have discouraged consumers from in-person visits while making them more likely to need virtual care.

The bottom line: The pandemic will end — eventually — and when it does, we'll see whether telemedicine remains the future of health care.

Go deeper: Breaking the language barrier in telemedicine

Go deeper

Updated Nov 26, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.