Saturday, April 18, 2009

Virtual Clinic: The Doctor Will See You Now, Online

Starting this fall, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota plans to offer its 10,000 employees and dependents the chance to use a "virtual clinic," an Internet site that can connect them with a doctor for a live 10-minute consultation for a flat fee.

When the system goes live this fall, doctors throughout Minnesota will be able to use a videocam or instant messaging to diagnose and treat anything from headaches to urinary infections in patients they've never met in person.

Blue Cross officials are betting that this kind of technology will play a pivotal role in transforming health care -- making it far more convenient than ever, and saving money in the process. In fact, many Twin Cities clinics are trying to reinvent the doctor visit, using the Internet and other technologies to deliver care in new ways.

Today, patients must go to the doctor's office because that's how doctors get paid, said Patrick Geraghty, president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. "We want to change that model," he said. He argues that many doctor-patient encounters could be handled virtually, saving expensive trips to the clinic or emergency room.

~StarTribune article

Press release from American Well, provider of the technology


At 4/18/2009 5:36 PM, Blogger Jack McHugh said...

I want to post an MRI of myself online and 'crowdsource' diagnoses. I imagine a response in an Indian accent saying something like, "Oh, I really think you should have someone look at that unusual bump on your left buttock," or whatever.

At 4/18/2009 11:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I imagine that lawyers will have a field day with this. The physicians that participate will have to be very careful and will likely order needless tests to cover themselves legally. Also, it is a problem that there isn't the ability for the physician to 'touch' the patient.

Apparently it will be cheaper than a regular visit to the doctor and does not require a drive or wait...expect people to consume more of this product than they would if they had to drive to the doctor's office and wait in the lobby.

I don't really see this as the future of health care for the general population. It probably has some useful applications for rural consults with specialists, etc. Walgreens clinics are probably a better bet (and urgent care in general) where nurse practioners are substituted for physicians and convenience is the motivating factor for the patient.

At 4/19/2009 8:56 AM, Blogger  said...

Howdy do, Mark,
I surfed-in on a George Carlin search-wave then I hit button to visit your latest posting.

I do agree with you that Carlin was oft times incorrect

(Hey, guess who had more total plays at original than Carlin – Hint: moi – one of the reasons why 371 million was spent on original just to delete/destroy it – MANY indies were kickin’ arse on pros) as is Rash Limp Pa, hence my parody –"Yankee Do Dope," as you also stated.This virtual clinic thingy sounds a lot like Mr. Rogers' hood and he liked us just the way we were[are] - on the other side of a TV tube far, far away.
Which brings to mind moi’s comedy bit (The DocTOR is in), here.....
http://torhershman.bandcage.comHowever I must take issue with your statement, in the Carlin post,
“ provocative, entertaining and brings the swimmer more bucks than if he reiterates the truth.”

IFFFFFFFFFFFFF the swimmer is WRONG he/she’ll get the bucks but being correct when the CULTural masters are 100% wrong will get you firstly ignored/marginalized and if that doesn't work, then vilified, then.....deported and/or murdered, anyway for the masters to take their wee thoughts and huge egos off that which IS coming - oblivion.

Example of Truth in comedy..... Here's moi's definition of Economics post the discovery of crop cultivation –
ECONOMICS: The acquisition and subsequent squandering of vast resources.

Well, this beats the heck outta viewin' the SeeBS Sunday mornin' show.

Stay on groovin' safari,


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