For several years now, virtual medicine has been starting to meet the primary care needs of remote, rural, and underserved communities.
But now it may also be an efficient alternative to in person treatment of basic medical problems.
Several companies are hosting online doctor visits where physicians and patients interact by phone or the Web.
The appointment proceeds similarly to how a face-to-face visit works: the patient describes symptoms and the doctor creates a prescription.
The big difference is that there’s no wait time, no travel involved, and visits can be completed within 15 minutes.
But are such visits getting everything done that an in-person experience needs to? [click to continue…]
The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) estimates that within the next six years, the U.S. will face a shortage of more than 90,000 physicians.
What’s more, that figure is expected to climb to 130,000 by 2025.
Here’s a look at five ways we might be able to cope with 90,000 fewer MDs than we thought we needed in the next few years:
1. Use remote medicine
Telehealth (or telemedicine) is being touted as one potential means of coping with the expected physician shortage.
Health monitoring equipment with web-based applications allows people to receive care from the comfort of their own homes, reducing doctor visits and patient expenses by linking people in remote areas to doctors in larger centers.
This can cut travel time and costs for patients by up to 58%, according to a study published in Telemedicine Journal and e-Health. [click to continue…]