We’ve also taken a look at some current technologies that seem like space-age innovations, such as robotic telesurgery tables that allow extend the viable duration of surgeries and allow for micro-precision surgical maneuvers.
But today I’d like to think about what the next step might be for telemedicine. By that I mean going beyond the current projects that are at hand in the industry, such as expanding specialist coverage in rural areas, using videoconferencing to enhance training, and delivering at-home preventative care or recovery assistance.
These projects are tremendous new opportunities to improve patient well-being, but they’re designed for specific situations, and only designed to diagnose or treat patients who are in certain isolated areas or have specialized cases of illness.
Healthcare in Our Homes
I envision a time, not far down the road, when we’ve fully established large networks between hospitals and rural areas, integrated these networks to a useful extent, and overcome the challenges of privacy and accuracy concerning patient health records (PHRs).
At this point, telemedicine can start becoming integral to mainstream healthcare in ways similar to, but more expansive than, the way it helps us deliver medication here at ApexRx. For example, when you’re at home, and you start feeling sick, you might very well have the option to bring up a web browser and check into your local doctor’s waiting room.
After he’s finished seeing other patients, he could bring up your image on a webcam, and have a virtual consultation similar to what you would experience by calling, making an appointment, and possibly waiting for a few days.In fact, you could even reduce your virtual waiting time by checking into a waiting room that feeds into a network of doctors that could bring up your prior patient history, if need be.
After a thorough evaluation, your doctor would be free to recommend a course of treatment, and even mail, call, or fax prescriptions to your closest pharmacy if you require medications.
This entire process could happen in the comfort of your own home, and you could rest assured that if you fell ill, professional advice and treatment was just a click away.
There’s no need to settle for anything else, with the technology we have available to us, and I anticipate that more mainstream at-home treatment is the next big step in telemedicine growth.