This week Dr. Jay Parkinson had this to say about telemedicine and telehype:
In the minds of consumers, they hear telehealth and they hear a cheap 10 minutes with a stranger. They don’t hear that it should be like managing a project at work over time using online and in-person communication with a known team of highly competent people.
Over the past few weeks we have mistaken one platform for human connection with a revolution. Video interface to connect humans is old technology. What’s new is the leapfrogging of 20th century roadblocks to force this tool into the clinical space. It’s been said for years that the future is here but it’s not evenly distributed. The past few weeks have been more about redistribution than revolution. As I heard on Twitter in reference to telehealth, ‘the future finally got here.’
After the honeymoon we’ll find that talking on a screen is just one tool in a connection continuum between a patient and her care team. It’s one way to move a project along. One tool in the journey to stay or get well.
Right now my team at Texas Children’s Hospital is working to figure out where telehealth fits in to the broader mission of caring for children with digestive disease. Our goal is not to figure out how all of our care can be delivered through a screen. Our goal is to figure out how we can use technology to optimize the journey and the experience for our children and their families. In the midst of the telehype it’s important to understand your mission. When you understand where you’re going you can begin to consider where the next tool fits into that mission.
This concept of the medical problem as a project requiring a team and different forms of communication has been popularized by Dr. Jay Parkinson. He is the brainchild behind Sherpaa which was recently acquired by Crossover. I recently caught up with Jay in The Exam Room where we explored some of these issues. Look for it soon from TouchPoint Media.
If you like Telemedicine and Telehype you might like the 33charts Telemedicine Archives.
Image via the National Library of Medicine Archives.