Does the Future of Health Care Include Video Conferencing?

We all know the drill. You call your doctor’s office and set up a visit on a specific date and time. You hop in your car or other means of transportation and travel to your doctor’s office. After you check in with the receptionist, you are told that it will be ‘a few minutes’ before the doctor will see you. Many of us we know that those ‘few minutes’ could mean a 30 minute or more wait in the waiting room, with another 30 minutes sitting in the cubicle waiting for the doctor.

The actual visit with the doctor may be less than 15 minutes, in which your diagnosis for simple aliments may include a prescription for one of the new wonder drugs. What always amazing me is that in order to get a prescription, we normally have to spend two to three hours traveling and waiting coupled with going to the pharmacy to pick up the prescribed drug. Wouldn’t it be convenient if you could just talk to your doctor via a video conference, which is being refereed to as telemedicine?

Does the Future of Health Care Include Video Conferencing?A California company called California Live Visit now offers doctors the ability to treat patients online using the Skype video and audio services. Doctors can visit with their patients online using the California Live Visit software and treat their patients without the need for a physical office visit. In addition, patients can also receive behavioral health therapy without seeing a therapist. Both of these services are for non-emergency cases and are only through an Internet connection.

There are some limitations with this virtual medical office visit. Your medical insurance may not pay for a virtual medical visit and you may have to pay for the visit out of your own pocket. On the flip side, you can see your doctor from anywhere, even when at work. So there are pluses and minuses to visiting a virtual office.

Comments welcome.