Recently, as part of a panel discussion, I was asked the deceptively simple question, “What does the future of Telehealth look like?”
In the world of technology we like to think forward about “what’s possible?”. But let’s face it. There is never anything simple about predicting the future, let alone the future of healthcare.
But as I was driving, I realized the answer was literally staring me in the face (and talking to me as I drove).
Many seasoned business travelers may remember back when a paper map and road atlas where necessities for planning a route on a business trip. You then frantically tried to read that map while holding the wheel with one hand. When you were hungry for lunch, you stumbled into whatever chain restaurant you saw by the side of the road.
Technology has fundamentally changed the travel experience, with smartphones now able to deduce where you are headed based on your calendar entries, talk you through directions turn by turn, avoid traffic, and recommend highly rated local restaurants. Or you can skip the drive and get picked up wherever you are at the tap of a button.
Back to healthcare. We are well on our way to seeing an analogous change in how we as patients, and consumers, experience healthcare – the creation of an Integrated Virtual Tele-Health Ecosystem, including the following areas:
Very akin to how technology has improved the travel experience, technology enabled – the right way – will provide a new kind of healthcare experience. One with better convenience, quality and value. In many ways, the future of telehealth is here.
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