The time to innovate with mHealth is now

I often hear some version of the phrase “Yeah but you don’t understand it’s so complicated we just can’t do that” from medics when they try to justify their reasons for not moving beyond the office visit only model and it really bugs me because the vacuum left by their inactivity is enabling a growing number of convenient health services that are operated by businesses that are much more about making profits than providing care.

This week I read a couple of news items that I think will help Rural Community Pharmacists and GPs realise the need to make the change before things get a lot worse for them personally:

Rural Community Pharmacists:

Political leaders don’t understand what you do and are so deluded they actually think you can be replaced with an App:

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The global Pharmacy giants that the politicians are hoping will deliver them this rosy future (and who have already made billions from sales through their mHealth apps) are doing plenty of things that would concern Patients/Carers eg. Walgreens (parent company of Boots) fell hook line and sinker for Theranos (backing it with their reputation and a $140 Million investment) and the boss at Lloyds Pharmacy (owned by McKesson) has paid the online retail giant Amazon to put a recording device in the companies HQ boardroom

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This week I read in the Australian Doctor that Dr Aifric Boylan (an Irish Locum GP who felt forced to emigrate to Australia after feeling “very uncertain about my future career security” and “mentally exhausted by the burden of debt which we saw little prospect of ever repaying”) has started an online service that offers to remotely provide one of the most complex and valuable roles a Family Doctor offers (direct referrals to a range of specialists).

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We live in times of great change and there’s clearly a need to urgently modernise medical education and ensure that the GP career is viable as an unfortunate side effect is that medics will approach innovative ways of doing their job only once they’re financially vulnerable and more vulnerable to being pressurised to nickel and dime things in ways that might be very profitable despite being obviously “controversial and confronting” and possibly dangerous for Patients.

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About David Doherty
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