Today, we have one physician per 325 patients in the US, medical schools provide about 18,938 new graduates who enter the workforce every year, according to the latest AMA statistics.
The US grows at a rate of 3.0 per 1,000 people per year (975k new patients every year).
As you can see, it will be impossible to keep up the pace of our growth as a country and still deliver good quality care that can reach everyone.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine is the use of telecommunication and information technology to provide clinical healthcare remotely.
- Monitor patients remotely and receive alerts when something is wrong, decreasing the possibility of a patient to go to the ER or being hospitalized.
- Doctors can examine patients while away, giving doctors more control of their time and quality of life while still delivering non-emergent care to their patients.
- A patient can connect with a physician from home via a HIPAA-compliant video conference for non-urgent medical matters.
- Patients are able to go anywhere in the world and be examined, advised and eventually treated by her/his own primary care.
- Patients can overcome distance barriers and improve access to medical services that would often not be consistently available in distant rural communities.
- To save lives in critical care and emergency situations.
- You are able to save time and money and travel expenses. Doctors are happier because they can work from their offices, home or any part of the world.
Telemedicine Applies To All Sectors:
Treating direct to consumer, helping practices increase their reach to patients, monitoring chronic disease thereby preventing future hospitalizations and even treating patients in the hospital in an acute care setting.
It could be as simple as a phone call or HIPAA-compliant video communication to your doctor to as sophisticated as being able to examine and listen to heart, abdominal and lung sounds remote, allowing to start lifesaving treatment right away.
You are able to save time and money, and travel expenses. Doctors are happier because they can work from their offices, home or any part of the world.
DO YOU THINK TELEMEDICINE WILL REPLACE DOCTORS IN THE FUTURE?
Definitely not, telemedicine is a very powerful tool to empower patients and increase the doctor’s reach. More than a replacement, I see it as a complement to medicine. We probably will be able to do more each year as technology advances. For example, the use of augmented and virtual reality might allow doctors to palpate patients remotely in the decades to come.