I am not sure if this has to do with the current health care fiasco here in the U.S., but there is a possibility that we can expect a virtual office visit to the doctor some time soon. Optim Health, a division of United Health Group, may be bringing this type of care to us as soon as next year. This was once only talked about but now seems to becoming a reality if this project takes off.
A New York Times article states:
OptumHealth believes NowClinic will improve health care by ameliorating some of the stresses on the system today, like wasted time dealing with appointments and insurance claims, a shortage of primary care physicians and limited access to care for many patients.
But some doctors worry that the quality of care that patients receive will suffer if physicians neglect one of the most basic elements of health care: a physical exam.
Though one could imagine that this type of visit would cut down on the cost of routine care, what liability would the doctor encounter for a false diagnosis over the Internet? If the majority of patients who currently have no medical insurance coverage wish to use this service, how could they if they do not have access to a computer with a Web cam? Are we to expect the poor to go to a public library for a doctor’s appointment?
One can only imagine some poor homeless person dropping their pants in a public library to show the online doc a problem they are having with a private part of their anatomy. 🙁 Believe me, I do not find the homeless situation nor the health care debacle amusing. What I find amusing is this insanity that the health care providers hope to implement.