Of course it’s hot, that was a rhetorical question. I was recently a panelist on Bloomberg/Businessweek's Telemedicine Webcast with two “fantastical” panelists and an awesome moderator on this topic (check out the pic in Charlie Rose’s “green room” below). Even though the webcast was last week, you can still view the taped version here.
OK, I saw Memphis on Broadway while in NYC and had to get in a plug—if you love rock ‘n roll and want to understand its roots then this is a "must see" musical—heck, go see it even if you don’t.
If you couldn't watch it live on the 7th, you can watch a taped version of New Tools for Medical Collaboration - Telemedicine - here on Bloomberg's site. Yep, I was a little "star struck" but there is no doubt in my mind that telemedicine is here to stay, despite the people, process and platform challenges that remain.
Telemedicine may be a new concept in the U.S., but It has already proven its salt in Norway and Denmark and will in the good 'ole USA as well. Why? Because it is inevitable. Telemedicine is one of many enabling technologies that will help bend the healthcare cost curve in the right direction—down. Mobile devices, like Nuvon's IDM-MG 1000, that monitor patients at home securely transmitting patient care device data to their physician are here today.
The HITECH Act may need to evolve with some legal safe harbors and broadband is not yet as ubiquitous and reliable as the grid, but these are technical challenges that can be readily overcome. Adoption by patients and their providers has a more rocky path.
Telemedicine is in our future because young healthcare professionals are now part of the Social Network generation. They were born (or at least educated) digital. They will find a way, like other generations of Americans, to innovate their way out of the current healthcare crisis. They will do the hard work of changing the culture and the incentive systems in a way that aligns with 21st century medicine.
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