Remember when doctors made house calls? Well, neither do we, but that doesn’t change the fact that now doctors are making a new type of house call. It’s one where doctors can literally diagnose patients based on the information they provide over the internet and a face-to-face Skype session—and it’s a revolution in healthcare. There are exceptions to who or what can be diagnosed in this type of session, but if you have an ear infection or sinusitis—you can save a trip to your doctor and have a prescription sent over to your pharmacy without leaving your house. Teledoc is one of the companies on the new frontier of more accessible medical care in the new age of healthcare reform.
And that’s just the beginning. Now, there is growing talk about doctors prescribing apps before meds. Innovations are forging efficiencies like lifesaving gadgets that connect to our smartphones, driving healthcare and making these advancements nothing short of genius. Having a heart problem? Your doctor or healthcare provider can receive a signal in seconds that alerts them to your distress. As a matter of fact, the FDA recently approved a device that turns your phone into an electrocardiogram—providing a cardiogram in an instant. Sharing results in real-time with healthcare providers—that’s true efficiency. In a recent interview on NBC news, Dr. Eric Topol, one of the world’s foremost cardiologists has acknowledged that this technology could change the way he practices, “This is a powerful device” he remarked, speaking to the capabilities and potential of smartphones.
It’s true that smartphones are changing the way we live—and now even changing the way doctors practice and patients engage in their health. Streamlining communications and data sharing by smartphone technology may be the key to solidifying the connection between healthcare professionals and their patients. Why? Because patients can keep their doctors in the loop more easily, and physicians can stay up to date on their patients’ conditions, with complete ease.
The data is now literally in your hands…and you can have more control over your health than ever before.
So, the question is, can wireless medicine can really improve healthcare? Sure it can. Patients are now able to access healthcare providers 24/7 and the financial edge is clear—there’s a reduction in the growth of healthcare costs.
President Obama recognized the value of telehealth is a recent statement:
“This isn’t about faster internet or fewer dropped calls…it’s about a firefighter who can download the design of a burning building onto a handheld device; a student who can take classes with a digital textbook; or a patient who can have face to face video chats with her doctor.”
Delivering the Message with Big Data
As the exchange of healthcare information gets smarter, faster and more intuitive, Big Data enters the picture. So, what does Big Data mean to Big Pharma? Along with inherent security concerns over the sharing of information, it likely means that the capture and analysis of massive amounts of growing patient and clinical data will have to become incredibly organized to have impact. Healthcare companies will have to become more adept at deciphering data that is the most meaningful to help advance the ultimate decisions that can improve not just healthcare, but our lives in the future.
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