Get ready to text your doctor.
Why go to the doctor, when you can just Skype or text her? That may sound glib, but these days, it’s a serious question. And in a field where many trends—skyrocketing drug prices and healthcare costs—tend to defy logic, the rise of telemedicine is one that makes a lot of sense, said Vivian Lee, CEO of University of Utah Health Care, speaking on a panel about virtual health at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference in San Diego on Wednesday.
Indeed, the service wins rave reviews from patients and providers. Practitioners of telemedicine say virtual appointments greatly enhance access to care and engagement with patients, both of which tend to benefit health outcomes. Suneel Gupta, head of mobile, for One Medical, said patients engage with his company’s virtual health platform 25 to 30 times a week. While there’s a convenience factor, there are also safety implications. Telemedicine keeps the sickest patients at home, and out of the hospital, where there is greater risk of infection.
Especially, as the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services makes its push to value-based, rather than fee-based care, it’s likely that telemedicine, which saves costs and improves outcomes, has a role […]