According to Jack Plotkin, telehealth has been around for quite some time now but it’s not until recently that technological innovation has made it become more prevalent and widely available. So how has it become more accessible to the average person? Well, for one thing, they now have portable devices than can track your biometrics and wirelessly transmit that data back to the lab for the doctors to analyze. While this does make it much more convenient to receive a diagnosis remotely, there are still a few obstacles to making this type of treatment widely accessible. For one thing, most doctors who do telehealth consultations don’t typically have access to the medical records of the patient whose condition they are currently attempting to diagnose.
As it happens, they’re not the only ones who are dealing with this major setback. Many nursing call centers out there find themselves in this same boat as their access to electronic medical records is limited at best and prohibited at worst. The only way for the system to work is to make this data readily available to those who need it. They’ve already begun working on a new platform that just may rectify the situation. As Jack Plotkin is quick to point out, this new system is known as Virtual Health and it is designed to integrate these EMRs with the rest of the information in their system so the doctors will have all the data they need to diagnose and treat patients.
Of course, even if this new platform proves to be successful, there’s one last obstacle left to overcome and this concerns the cost of these consultations. As you can imagine, telehealth does not typically come cheap and it’s not as if any private insurers are lining up to cover this program. It is also not currently covered by Medicare or Medicaid but that’s never stopped us before. Back in the ’50s, the only way to perform telehealth was over the phone and even then it wasn’t particularly effective as doctors were unable to run any tests on them to diagnose it.