Health care in the United States has never been easy, but with the coronavirus pandemic, a visit to the doctor’s office is just plain risky. That’s why this crisis has become a moment for telehealth, which connects patients to doctors through the internet. Although telehealth has been around for a few years, recent updates to regulations and a surge in demand has made it the easiest way to get many different types of medical care. And, because you don’t have to leave your house to see a doctor, telehealth is also the safest option right now.

Though it’s been a popular platform for therapy for some time, telehealth is an option for many kinds of health care. Urgent care centers are encouraging patients to use their telemedicine options instead of coming in. Some hospitals are making use of virtual platforms to screen and triage patients who might have Covid-19, while others are using the technology just to free up space and personnel. Telehealth visits across the board were up 50 percent in March, by one measure, and are on track to hit 1 billion by the end of the year.

“Our challenge has always been that we haven’t had wide-scale adoption because there just hasn’t been wide-scale awareness,” Hill Ferguson, the CEO of the telemedicine provider Doctor on Demand, told Recode. “In the last month, we’ve had everyone from the president of the United States down to local governors to CEOs of health care companies all saying use telemedicine as a first line of defense.”

Still, the idea of talking to a doctor through a computer or a smartphone is undoubtedly intimidating for many. There are new services to learn about, privacy concerns to deal with, and insurance issues to figure out. But with rapid changes, telehealth has never been simpler.

1) Telehealth is easier than going to the doctor’s office

Telemedicine is typically as straightforward as a patient chatting with a doctor over a video call. Because these consultations require a layer of privacy and security, there are regulations in place for patients’ protection, but those are changing in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced that video platforms, like FaceTime and Skype, are temporarily acceptable for health care providers to use. Zoom has also been given temporary approval, although the platform is currently struggling with some security issues. You also might use a service that’s specifically designed for telehealth consultations, like VSee, Doxy, thera-Link, and Amazon Chime. Officials say that public-facing platforms like Facebook Live and TikTok should be avoided.