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Screen-shunning doctors open up to telehealth in pandemic era

Face-to-face consults, paper records and cash payments still the norm in Japan

The coronavirus outbreak highlights the benefits of telemedicine in Japan. 

TOKYO -- With two small children aged 1 and 2, Chieko Kuribayashi, 33, has serious concerns about visiting a clinic, fearing that they may catch the spreading coronavirus.

Kuribayashi, a medical doctor who works in a university hospital in Ube, western Japan, is keenly aware of how exposed both patients and health care workers are to the risk of coronavirus infection as the hospital receives more patients with flu-like symptoms. With more news of hospital infections, the mother of two is agitating for change.

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