We have a new wave of medical students that are coming out of medical school in this new generation of technology, social media, and healthcare innovations brought on from departments from hospitals such as Kaiser Permanente. Students now acknowledge that they need access to smartphones, tablets, and any devices that helps them integrate into an advanced society where textbooks are even read on electronic devices. It keeps those already practicing older physicians on their toes as they may feel like they are being weaved out. The Kaiser innovation team are continually improving their health IT each and everyday, I am sure that we are poised to see a huge jump in technological health devices to improve healthcare for patients and online doctor alike.
And as students are being educated through devices, I am sure the implementation of such devices to practice medicine through teleHealth will be a necessity as students will not be educated on the “older” way of practicing. Newly board certified and licensed graduate medical students will be using technology to communicate with their patients via Facebook, Twitter, etc. The influx of positions to employ such an online doctor will increase exponentially in the upcoming years with telemedicine poised to be well-received with benefits and government funding. Using devices to monitor their vital signs, using iPads and other tablets that can generate a front facing camera consultation to watch over patients, or simply using a cellular devices to speak and see with a patient at home.
Two Way Real-Time consultation is making a huge step in the world of medicine with even physician professors broadcasting lectures and PowerPoints through Podcasts and Live Stream Sites. Current board certified students are giving advices over the phone for elders who can’t make it to the office. It also gives the patients the comfortability of being at home. Home is where most patient’s sanctuary remain and if one can be diagnosed in their sanctuary, I’m pretty sure their healthcare would improve. Of course, there remains the security of information using already made applications like Skype and so there have been services where they have employed their own developers to develop a private video application with encryption to protect the patients’ confidentiality.
TeleHealth implementation in medical schools in Arizona and Chicago have been pushing for students to receive or buy iPads because companies are moving towards digital images of the human anatomy and scrubbing through slides on a touchpad. It has been much easier on the school with it saving cost, preserving the environment and adapt to a consumer lifestyle. So when graduating, they will be able to connect with their patient who are probably now technologically literate.
In my foreseeable future, more hospitals will need to hire doctors that are well-trained with technology and trained with these new health devices that can monitor a patient’s vital signs via broadband and WiFi. The ability to follow-up with patients outside of the hospital no matter whether either are will make these future medical students a much needed prospect. A medical school doesn’t have to stand by the old generation of medicine when government funding and private funding are increasing the use of online doctor with telemedicine/telehealth to lessen the cost of running hospitals and free clinics.