iPhones, iPads May Soon Replace the Doctor's Waiting Room
A visit to the doctor is about to become a digital experience. And it wouldn't be possible to the extent you're likely to experience without the dawn of Apple's iDevices. The mHealth industry is not only booming, it's effectively poised to change the way we receive healthcare.
Later this summer, healthcare company Teladoc will release new iPhone and iPad apps that makee physician consultations possible via FaceTime video conferencing. Sound crazy? Maybe a little. But there's already a tangible demand for at-home doctor consultations via the web. During the last eight years, Teladoc has facilitated some 80,000 patient/doctor consultations, either via webcam or telephone.
According to Teladoc, the typical appointment lasts 12 minutes. Appointments are available on-demand 24/7 and can usually commence after no longer than 20 minutes in a digital waiting room of sorts. Teladoc CEO Jason Gorevic says that the forthcoming Facetime consultations will only occur with licensed physicians for the care of “routine medical issues.”
Teladoc says on its website that it "charges the credit card you provided when requesting your consultation or your billing information on file." You can request a receipt for deductibles or reimbursement, they say, and the doctor updates your HIPAA-compliant EHR based upon the consultation. "Teladoc is a qualified expense for HSA, FSA and HRA accounts," according to their website.
So will it catch on? Would you utilize a digital platform for a physician's care, especially if it meant reducing your exposure to other possibly infectious illnesses in the hospital or doctor's office? For some, this is a no-brainer. For others, it's an awkward, futuristic service that won't resonate. But the mHealth industry is banking on a rapid adoption of similar services and technologies - even those that are still too futuristic for most to embrace.