WW presents "Distant Voices," a daily video interview for the era of social distancing. Our reporters are asking Portlanders what they're doing during quarantine.

Steve Kassakian sees the silver lining in this pandemic.

An internist at Oregon Health & Science University, Kassakian has for several years also been the associate chief health information officer. Which means it's his job to lead the growth and development of OHSU's use of telemedicine.

The technology and tools to diagnose and monitor clinical health remotely have been around for some time. What's been missing are a couple of things. One is a public health crisis that makes telemedicine a necessity. The second? A way to pay for it. Since COVID-19 hit, Kassakian, along with OHSU's director of telehealth, Mark Lovgren, and a team of IT specialists, ramped up OHSU's telemedicine system and experienced 30-fold growth in one month.

In this interview with WW editor and publisher Mark Zusman, Kassakian explains the advantages and limitations of telemedicine, and its future once we all can leave our homes.