Why do we automatically assume healthcare by a physician must always include a physical meeting, discussion, and contact? The fact is, we have been culturally trained to expect this type of healthcare delivery because it has been the traditional model for centuries. The fable of the “country doctor” visit still exists in our minds when in reality healthcare review, diagnosis and treatment can happen just as easily through other channels as well. In fact, the age of computers has subtly moved among us and it already exists under our noses.
Telehealth is already functional, practical and usable in the form of wearable technology. Unlike the early idea of providing patient information via survey and screen interaction, today’s modern health is already integrated into how we live. Biometric measurements can be easily taken and transferred remotely via bracelets, necklaces, watches, and wristbands, not only providing doctors with real-time, objective data they can evaluate clearly versus trying to interpret, they can do so on an ongoing basis as well. This, in turn, can provide far more accurate diagnoses and better treatment delivery without any need for the traditional consultation process that can eat up half a day’s time.
According to Jack Plotkin, a top expert on enterprise network design for large user populations, today’s telehealth tools can easily redefine how we look at, deliver and receive healthcare. The data and information available and possible is far more accurate, devoid of interpretive language, and can lend itself far better to trend analysis. Healthcare providers have at their fingertips wireless technology that is easy to implement, easy to network, and easy to manage with their patients via intuitive purposes and operations. Given these disruptive approaches to traditional medical delivery, the ideas first visualized on early Star Trek episodes are now present and available. The biggest question now is, when are we going to start leveraging telehealth tools to our maximum advantage?