Doctor Visits Via Skype , Could This Be The Future Of Medicine ?

Discussion in 'Doctors Cafe' started by Egyptian Doctor, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

    Mar 21, 2011
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    It's a winter wonderland outside. The roads are coated with a thin layer of black ice and your city has shut down in response to the weather. But even still, the congestion in your chest is building and it's becoming difficult to take in a breath without coughing up a lung. But what do you do when you need your doctor but the office is closed? Log on to Skype? Is this the future of modern medicine?

    According to a recent story on My Health News Daily, more and more doctors are saying yes to online webcam services like Skype. Dr. Gregory Smith, who treats prescription drug abuse and patients with chronic pain turns to a webcam to see patients when snow and ice in Grapevine, Calif. keep him from his offices in Fresno and Los Angeles. This is a much better option than when he formerly cancelled appointments.

    For Dr. Michael Escobedo, of Escobedo Esthetics in Austin, Texas, it serves as a means to save out-of-state patients the long trip to his office. Over here at Planet Green, we're the first to applaud such efforts to limit air travel, especially when a quick web chat can help decrease the number of visits.

    "t's absolutely increasing," said Gary Capistrant, senior director of public policy at the American Telemedicine Association (ATA). "and now that you've got those 4G phones where you can video-conference from your cell phone, it's going to be much more common."

    While convenience and fossil fuel savings are certainly pros to the video chat doctor visit, the practice certainly has its downside. While many doctors don't mind a periodic video chat visit, nothing can replace real life contact. Messages conveyed without words can be tell tale and this is especially true for patients with psychiatric disorders. It's all about striking a balance.

    Then there is the issue of doctor/patient privacy. It's much more difficult to secure that privacy online. According to the article, doctors also have to make sure their communication is secure in order to abide by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which ensures patient privacy.



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