Wired: Why Telemedicine Needs to Redesign the Doctor’s Appointment

Nice piece in Wired today: Why Telemedicine Needs to Redesign the Doctor’s Appointment. Essentially, I again make the case that video visits with doctors are essentially a bunch of nonsense. First of all, video visits with random strangers is weird and when things are weird they don’t become ingrained cultural behaviors.

Here’s how online communication with doctors should work:

Ninety-eight percent of online communication should be asynchronous, email-like messaging within a secure app and 25% of those communications should have photos attached. When this kind of communication is inadequate, jump on the phone. This should happen about 1.5% of the time. When a doctor needs to actually visualize the movement or expression of someone, initiate a video chat. This is a very rare situation, roughly 0.5% of the time, and only applies when email, phone, and photos are inadequate.

When consumers are involved, in the end, they always win. And they win by using the best designed solutions that jive with how they want to behave. Video visits as a thing in healthcare are a fad, because they were designed via paternalism without considering patients’ normal behaviors and expectations.

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