We believe in the next generation of telemedicine
March 31, 2017
The first use of an early-stage technology is typically to do something you’re already doing faster and more efficiently. One of the simplest examples is the internet, and one of its earliest uses – email. Email is simply faster, more efficient mail.
Future adoptions of a technology tend to do new things. Going back to the internet example, early email users probably never conceived of being able to get a ride home using the internet, or share photos with loved ones, or do their taxes, or any of the other myriad things that the internet is used for regularly today.
Telemedicine is an early-stage technology, and its current uses provide things we’re already doing – frequently consulting with a healthcare provider – faster and more efficiently. Similarly, in the peer review space, the first generation has been to deliver a peer review or independent medical examination faster and more efficiently.
We believe the next phase of telemedicine will enable a leap in services quality. Current studies by private companies, government agencies, and academic institutions indicate that telemedicine can be on par with face-to-face services, and in some cases improve outcomes. Beyond those studies, we see a simple correlation with telemedicine and our belief that the optimal network to deliver services is an active network that fits the need.
Telemedicine allows the network required to deliver services to shrink further by removing some of the geographic requirements, allowing us to use only the very best clinicians, provide them additional ongoing training and frequent cases on which to hone their skills. This network optimization results in a much higher level of quality, rather than simply creating efficiencies with an overly-large network. It’s not a way to hide a deficient network, but a method by which to avoid the pitfalls (high turnover, infrequent cases) of a network too large to maintain quality.