There is news, and a podcast, this week about another Virtual Medicine system that should be available later this year. A company called American Well, in a partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York, will give patients online access to a Family Doctor, through video conferencing, phone, or even Instant Messaging. These doctors will be able to assess, diagnose, and prescribe when it is deemed safe. American Well claims that it’s doctors will also have secure access to patients’ medical records.
From the article: “Dr. Douglas Golding… said he’s eager to get started with online medicine. He said the traditional model alone, with limited time to physically see each patient, just isn’t working anymore.”
Some patients are still hesitant, and said they would “still be more comfortable with a diagnosis confirmed with a physical exam. Dr. Golding said most of the time that really isn’t necessary.”
We are enthusiastic about the proliferation of online medicine, and look forward to the widespread adoption of new technologies that make healthcare more efficient, effective, and affordable.
Possibly most notable in this report, is the notion of remote access to a patient’s medical records. We hope that the realities of Electronic Medical Records can meet the aspirations of this system within a year. As we covered previously, existing EMR technologies do not interact well with others, and it is very difficult to share records from various providers and disparate systems. New government initiatives, and market pressures, may bring greater standardization, interoperability and portability of data soon. When that happens, KwikMed’s technology is ready to embrace this EMR sharing and the benefits of efficiency and even better patient care.