Yes, I do think so that the world today has transformed permanently moving towards a remote healthcare environment. My parents haven’t visited a doctor in-person for a while due to the pandemic yet their care continues well over the phone. It does take more coordination and time to manage everything at home but seems to be working well so far. I expect this to continue even after the COVID-19 vaccinations have been done, which can’t be soon enough.
The impact that Telehealth can have on remote areas and those that have simply not received the benefits of modern medicine can be transformational Looking at the use of drones to deliver medicine supplies and even collect samples for testing shows the potential across developing and developed regions. Similarly, access to specialist in war torn regions for the most needy and fragile populations has been a force multiplier to the humanitarian work done by the amazing people at Doctors Without Borders using telemedicine.
I continue to be optimistic about this model, getting access to healthcare from their own location, wherever it may be, makes it convenient for the care receiver. We finally have a customer centric model rather than a provider centric one moving the hospital closer and to be more local. Besides the convenience, the economics make me more hopeful. Telemedicine helps in reducing costs eventually with less travel, better scheduling and less waits or cancellations. This model also democratizes care, why should a rural resident not have access to the specialist of their choice, opening up more opportunities to both. Finally, when telemedicine becomes the norm, I see it driving efficiencies through personal health technology, infrastructure and better governance. What am I missing?