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I’m speaking today at a meeting of the Northeast Regional Telehealth Resource Center (NRTRC). They’re 35 telemedicine providers who cover a vast region – seven states including all of Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon, Nebraska and Utah – which includes all the U.S. territory that legally qualifies as “frontier” because there are <6 people per square mile. In the twenty years some of these folks have been doing telemedicine, a lot has changed – it used to be mainly letting the doc see something from afar (remote video), but now things are evolving.
Check out this delightful video, winner of last year’s American Telemedicine Association competition. Brilliant messaging.
Watch for this to come to your family – not just if you’re in the industry, even if you’re in downtown LA. Why? Because as the video shows, people are realizing it’s not just remote seeing – it makes the whole danged process more efficient.
Prediction: as medicine becomes more of a competitive marketplace, some clinics will offer more convenience features like this, and customers (patients) will develop strong preferences for the chance to get their problem solved quick ‘n’ easy.
Here’s a glimpse of where it’s heading: cardiologist Eric Topol points out that the stethoscope lets a clinician hear heart sounds, for the purpose of figuring out what’s happening in the heart; but with the VScan handheld ultrasound, he can see what’s happening in the heart. So you don’t have to interpret it from sounds.
And you can do that over the internet. Like a thousand-mile stethoscope.
That’s telemedicine, baby: what you need, wherever you happen to be. A no-brainer. Watch it happen; ask for it.