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Medicine Communications

E-Visits To the Doctor To Top 75 Million In the US, Canada This Year 35

Posted by timothy
from the billing-codes-had-to-catch-up dept.
Lucas123 (935744) writes "Telehealth medicine, or communicating remotely with patients through electronic means, will be used by nearly one in six North Americans this year, according to Deloitte. With an aging Baby Boomer population and a growing shortage of primary care physicians, electronic visits (eVisits) reduce both time and cost in treating common ailments. The overall cost of in-person primary physician visits worldwide is $175 billion. Globally, the number of eVisits will climb to 100 million this year, potentially saving over $5 billion when compared to the cost of in-person doctor visits. Last November, The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) revamped its patient portal, renaming it MyUPMC, and rolling out AnywhereCare, offering patients throughout Pennsylvania eVisits with doctors 24 hours a day, seven days a week either over the phone or through video conferencing. The service offers a 30-minute or less wait time and saves the hospital system more than $86 per patient over a traditional visit."
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E-Visits To the Doctor To Top 75 Million In the US, Canada This Year

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  • because every time i took my kids to the doctor they take the temperature and blood pressure right there and the doctor needs to do a physical exam to verify the symptoms are bacterial or viral

    • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Saturday August 09, 2014 @12:55PM (#47637699) Homepage

      With amazing modern technology you can, in the comfort and privacy of your very own home (certainly with more comfort and likely more privacy than a typical clinic) take your temperature, pulse, blood pressure and oxygenation. The whole kit would cost less than $100. While it is true that the physical exam is often important, in reality it's a smallish bit of the diagnostic tree. Certainly telemedicine can't solve every issue, but then again, neither will a visit to a doctor's office.

      Just one more change in medicine. Next up: You won't really be seeing a doctor (or nurse) on the screen. Just an avatar and a script [slashdot.org].

      • by Bill Dog (726542)

        > You won't really be seeing a doctor (or nurse) on the screen. Just an avatar and a script.

        Dr. Watson I presume?

        If smart watches take off, these could be your kits. Last I heard the rumor mills have Apple coming out with one next month, with "more than 10 sensors" (not all of them necessarily being biometric ones, granted), and MS with one with 11 sensors the following month. Especially with the fanatic following that Apple has (in devices), if they can make the smartwatch "cool", then smartphone make

      • by Barny (103770)

        And this will stop one of the worst epidemics of the modern age (T2 diabetes) how?

        These are not the only things that need to be tested, regular check-ups should never be done away with.

      • I have a BP machine at home. Why? Because I have what my doctor calls "white coat hypertension." What that means is I get nervous when I go in to the doctor's office and my BP goes up. Measured at home, my BP is on the high side of normal, but fine. At the Dr's office it is at the high side of prehypertension or low side of hypertension. It's not a difference in the machines, they have me bring mine in to check the calibration.

        Ok well that means they can't keep an accurate record from their measurements. So

  • Does the amount of savings expected include the additional costs of misdiagnosis that might be higher over the phone than in-person? Alternately, the savings could be even higher if it leads to serious conditions being diagnosed sooner from people being more willing to make a phone call than visit the hospital.

    • by Bill Dog (726542)

      Every phone call will start with:

      "This call is being monitored for legal purposes."

      <two minutes of legal disclaimers, regarding the lesser reliability of diagnosing over the phone>

      "Do you consent to all of these terms? Press 1 for yes, or hang up for no."

      And OTOH, the cost savings could be overcome by more demands on the healthcare system from people more willing to make a phone call on the spot than an appointment for a office visit for who knows how long into the future. What I usually do is wait and see if <mysterious symptom> goes away on its own in a few days. But in the back of my mind, I know I can't get in to see a doctor immediately (excluding going to urgent care, which from experience can soak up half your

  • BS (Score:5, Informative)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Saturday August 09, 2014 @01:43PM (#47637969)

    This article is total nonsense:

    Electronic visits or telemedicine is comprised of electronic document exchanges, telephone consultations, email or texting, and videoconferencing between physicians and patients.

    So you call your doctor: "please refill my cholesterol pills"
    That counts as an evisit.
    Your doctor sends you message: "Your test results are in"
    That counts as an evisit.

    The summary makes it sound like there were 75million video conference visits... which is not even remotely the case.

  • But could someone kindly explain what "hoirs" (in the summary) are?

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