Rural GP predicts that in 10-15 years the vast majority of Doctor/Patient consultations will be conducted via video call


Twenty or thirty years ago most Doctors wouldn’t of dreamt of providing telephone consultations. It just wouldn’t happen. Telephone was used for emergencies and that was it. I reckon that in ten or fifteen years time the vast majority of our cases are going to be done by video call. I don’t see why it won’t work because if you look from 15 or 20 years ago when we didn’t use telephone I’m now doing between 20 and 50 percent of my workload over the phone… …it’s the next generation because there’s actually nothing as good as a class A face to face consultation because there’s a lot of non-verbal that you have to pick up. But there is a lot of stuff that you can actually do and manage over the phone. From the Patients point of view potentially you can record the conversation. Which is actually protective for both of you, ensures the quality is there and also you can go back so if there are things that you can’t remember from the consultation, from either side, you can go back. So there’s a lot of things you can potentially do. There are (Doctors) that are providing Skype consultations to Patients and there are a lot of legalities about it and assurances that you have to put in place from both sides and the Royal College I know has looked at some of this stuff but to me in areas like this or if you go to Scotland or the North Yorkshire Moors or wherever it just means it’s good quality service for the Patient

Dr Peter Weeks, Rural GP, UK.

HatTip: b4rn.org.uk/@CyberDoyle via Mike Clark.

My thoughts:

While concierge Doctors for the rich and famous are probably already there (spending more time consulting remotely with their Patients than they do in their office) it’s nice to be so far ahead of the curve on this at 3G Doctor where we not only provide public access to Doctors via Video for a reasonable cost (only £35) but we document the consultation for Patients so that information that is shared supports the continuity of care and avoids the need for anyone to have to go scrolling through video recordings of live consultations trying to decipher what was/wasn’t said and what it might mean…

6 Responses to Rural GP predicts that in 10-15 years the vast majority of Doctor/Patient consultations will be conducted via video call

  1. rgrosssz says:

    We have been using Telemed for trauma in rural Maine, for many years. I personally use it from my smartphone, frequently when on call. See TEDx iPodteletrauma “An ipod could save a life.Also, device like GoogleGlass will accelerate the institution of this concept. http://t.co/dHWCz1HZGoogle Glass In The Operating Room! http://t.co/bMR64jVCTQ
    & in Medical Ed “OK Glass:..Teach me Medicine!” http://t.co/0vYPZcrzKk

  2. […] “Twenty or thirty years ago most Doctors wouldn’t of dreamt of providing telephone consultations. It just wouldn’t happen. Telephone was used for emergencies and that was it.  […]

  3. Chris Conder says:

    the problem in most rural areas is that there isn’t the connectivity to do video calls. Its time for some fibre, moral, optic and dietary, then we’ll all be healthier.

  4. Hi Chris,

    Thanks for your comments.

    While I know there are big issues with connectivity (I live/work in Rural Ireland) personally I don’t think the delay lies in getting the network capacity to do remote consulting but rather the dated mindset of the healthcare provider industry.

    Evidence for this in the NHS can be found in the highly variable rates of use of the internet and telephone eg. some NHS Doctors don’t provide it at all whilst others (like Dr Amir Hannan in Manchester or Dr Tony Stern in London) have for years commited themselves to providing interactive websites and enabling their Patients to consult with them over the telephone.

    I’m also hopeful that network sharing agreements with telcos in rural areas will provide for much more widespread and reliable connectivity to broadband mobile networks.

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