What happened

Shares of Teladoc Health (TDOC -4.67%) jumped more than 9% on Tuesday as health facilities around the world gear up to face the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

So what

With the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, exceeding 118,000 and growing rapidly, the outbreak threatens to overwhelm many countries' healthcare infrastructure. Health officials, concerned that hospitals and other treatment centers might run out of room to treat patients, are encouraging the use of alternative forms of care, such as telehealth.

Telehealth services -- which allow doctors and other healthcare professionals to provide medical consultations via videoconferencing apps on patients' smartphones, tablets, and computers -- are seen as a way for medical centers to provide more care to more people. As such, telehealth is likely to be one of our most important tools to combat the spread of COVID-19.

A person speaking to a doctor via videoconferencing technology on a tablet computer.

Telehealth services are in high demand. Image source: Getty Images.

Teladoc Health is the global leader in virtual care, and it's well positioned to benefit from surging demand for telehealth services.

Now what

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 outbreak is likely to get much worse, with the number of those infected with the disease expected to rise significantly in the coming weeks and months. In turn, demand for Teladoc Health's services should remain elevated for the foreseeable future.