Will remote consultations lead to a substantial degradation of medicine?



Medscape OneXOne Eric Topol and Abraham Verghese

[ET @16min] when you get to this Deloitte recent survey (‘eVisits the 21st century house call’) that says by the end of this year one in six office visits between Doctors and Patients will be virtual and that with all these tele medical entities the majority of visits will be virtual. Do you think that’s going to lead to a substantial degradation of medicine?

[AV] I’m not sure. I’d love to see what that ultimately looks like. I do think that there’s a lot of visits where we can spare the Patient the hassle of you know parking, climbing up to the clinic and certainly many many things can be transacted not just with us (Doctors) but on telemedicine with the wonderful teams that we have of nurse practitioners, physician assistants, I’m a big believer in that and often they do the very things that we don’t do which is listen and touch and spend time. But I do think for many Patients there will be a moment in the trajectory of their illness where a face to face visit will be performed and be of importance

Dr Eric Topol interrupts Dr Abraham Verghese from attending rounds for this unmissable Medscape interview in which he shares a few thoughts on the challenges we face as we move beyond the office visit with remote consultations.

​mHealth Insights

“Visits will be Virtual”

I think it’s important that we all accept that the idea of one person virtually caring for another individual is nonsensical. Much more useful if we talk about providing care remotely (eg. remote consulting) unless of course we are talking about computers reading scripts to humans via avatars to deceive Patients into the illusion of being cared for.

Many Patients have already moved beyond the visit

One of the reasons I am confident that mHealth models that successfully aid Diabetics will create the template for most other chronic diseases to follow is that diabetics have already gone beyond the office visit (eg. Diabetics are self managing their care and routinely doing things that only a few years ago would’ve only been possible with a visit to a Doctors office).

A quote from Theophrastus Phillippus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim

I think this Paracelsus quote shared by Dr Verghese makes a great screensaver:

Paracelsus Quote from Dr Abraham Verghese

​Related posts:

How to effectively consult with Patients online

Dr Abraham Verghese’s TedGlobal Talk calling for a return to the traditional one-on-one physical exam

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