As Jack Plotkin is quick to point out, there are many things that have shaped the medical field but he believes nothing will change the face of medicine quite like the concept of telehealth. For those unfamiliar with this, it’s basically the concept of going to your doctor’s appointment without getting into your car. Back in the early ’50s, the only way this was feasible was by having the patients attempt to describe the symptoms of their condition to their doctor over the phone. As you can imagine, this proved to be a rather ineffectual method of attempting to diagnose someone’s condition. Nowadays, however, it has become much simpler with the rise of wearable health gadgets such as Fitbit and the newest innovations.
With these new devices, you can send your vital signs directly to your doctor and receive a diagnosis within the hour. While this might seem like a much simpler alternative to visiting the doctor’s office, don’t forget the fact that these types of consultations are not cheap and it’s not as if your insurance will cover it. Jack Plotkin has also assured us neither Medicare nor Medicaid will pay for this procedure either. As such, it remains a privilege of the wealthy and elite. Of course, there are other obstacles such as the fact that most doctors have difficulty diagnosing their patient’s conditions without access to their medical records.
Nurses are also finding themselves at a disadvantage without proper access to electronic medical records. Fortunately, however, they are currently perfecting a new platform known as virtual health which should enable doctors and nurses to have access to whatever EMRs they need. While it’s not clear if this type of procedure will ever become commonplace, I wouldn’t be surprised if it someday replaces doctor’s appointments altogether.
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