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? Continue reading “Are Virtual Visits More Efficient?”
A recent New York Times article entitled “In Hawaii’s health system, lessons for lawmakers” opens with a story of a Honolulu employee at a U.S.-based ice-cream chain who has health insurance through that chain.
While the chain typically doesn’t offer health insurance to its employees on the mainland, it has to do so in the “Aloha state” due to health industry regulations there.
Hawaii makes your employer guarantee you health coverage
Hawaii was the first state to mandate what is effectively universal healthcare for every person who works, and their families…and they did it all the way back in 1974.
And like a dream-version of those no-medical-exam insurance ads on TV, no one can be denied coverage. It’s state law.
While they were at it, state legislators mandated clearly-defined boundaries to force competing insurers to keep costs under control. Continue reading “What U.S. Medical Systems Can Learn From Hawaii and Alaska”
A few weeks before Star Trek: Into Darkness hit theatres, we looked at “23rd Century health technologies that already exist.”
At the time, it was amazing to see how many futuristic devices we see in the movies (and not just that saga, but in the Marvel universe, Star Wars, and others) that are quickly becoming reality.
For medical professionals and aspiring super-heroes, here’s a look at some more medical sci-fi that’s here today…
3D printing of prosthetics and bone/joint replacements (The Fifth Element)
Ever see that beautifully-crafted sci-fi action movie in which Bruce Willis has to find-and-assemble people/stuff from different planets to save the Earth?
…Let’s try this again: Ever see that pre-Resident-Evil movie where Milla Jovovich jumps off a futuristic 900-floor building wearing nothing but a bandage designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier? (OK, awesome.)
Before that scene in The Fifth Element, said actress’ character is “resurrected” from a tiny bit of ancient DNA that gets re-built in seconds in a robotic chamber that can build anything, including people. Sound far-fetched?
Not only can 3D printing technology already create objects that stand-in for missing body parts (like prosthetics) but it can even “print” objects that could be used inside humans, such as replacement bones, joints, and other pieces of us, and perhaps soon, even living replacements using human stem cells as the “ink.” Continue reading “Medical Technology that Used to be Science-Fiction”
Roughly 75 percent of America’s annual $2.6 trillion-dollar health care budget is spent on chronic illness care.
In the interest of being proactive about stemming the tide of chronic illness, we’ve measured what sociologist Morris David Morris called The Physical Quality of Life Index, which looks at basic literacy, infant mortality, and life expectancy.
It wasn’t until 2006, though, that researchers started looking at a more refined measuring stick for quality-of-life, or QOL (not-to-be-confused with standard-of-living) to try and better predict and prevent chronic illness.
That’s when the Happy Planet Index (HPI) – an index of human well-being and environmental impact – was introduced by the London, UK-based New Economics Foundation.
Like other modern QOL references, the index challenges well-established indices of countries’ development, such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the Human Development Index (HDI).
Instead, more progressive models like the Happy Planet Index might be just as concerned with literally how “happy” a patient is, or how well they fit in with their peers…how well they’re able to keep up with their children, or innovate at work. Continue reading “How to Ride the ‘Quality-of-Life’ Care Wave”
It’s been years since the Da Vinci surgical robot unwittingly morphed from a great hope for telesurgery to a semi-common tool for doctors to do ultra-precise surgeries with their hands on the controls in the next room. In the last 5 years, we’ve seen such robots perform prostate surgery, lace a football, make a paper airplane and even peeling a grape.
Here are eight promising robots that may soon be commonplace thanks to the amazing benefits they offer: Continue reading “8 Promising New Surgical Robots (and 2 Non-Surgical Ones)”
Advances in medical technology over the past 5 years have been impressive. But even more impressive: the widespread adoption of a scant few of those technologies.
While we could list dozens of future healthcare game-changers, the picks below are five we think actually stand a chance of being adopted soon, dramatically changing the way medicine is practiced: Continue reading “5 Technologies That Will Change Medicine in the Next 5 Years”