It’s well established that the strain on the current medical model is increasing. The rising prevalence of long term conditions is placing great pressure on doctors to see all those that require attention. Waiting lists are growing and it’s only a matter of time before individual care begins to decline.
I’ve suggested previously that technology may be the only answer and it looks like remote health care may well be closer than you think. Verizon Enterprise Solutions are developing their ‘Virtual Visits’ technology saving everyone involved time and optimising individual care. Through smart phone in app technology ‘Virtual Visits’ gives users the opportunity to complete some basic questions about their symptoms, pay for a consultation and connect with doctors to give diagnosis and suggest treatment. ‘Virtual Visits’ not only provide functionality for consultation but also allows doctors to send electronic prescriptions to individuals and the app outlines potential locations for collection. Medical information can then be stored in the app for future reference or discussion with GPs.
Remote medical technology provides opportunity for individuals to access healthcare regardless of location at the click of the button. Thus providing a feasible solution to what is a growing issue. The ability for clinicians to provide information to all those that need it whilst freeing up time for individuals who require face to face consultation provides significant benefit to all parties involved, making the consultation process more time and cost efficient.
As with every solution there are several downsides. Remote monitoring may reduce face to face interaction, for many increasing isolation and associated problems. Also for some the trip to their GP is one of their most active periods of the week therefore removing the need to travel to see a doctor may well reduce an individual’s engagement in activity. One may argue that due to these issues individual health may actually suffer as a result of implementation of remote monitoring technology; however one thing is for sure, there’s a growing need for a solution and this is certainly a feasible option.
Jack Barton (Researcher, Rescon Ltd)