As telemedicine replaces the physical exam, what are doctors missing?

Video call with doctor

Virtual medical appointments are more common since the coronavirus pandemic began. But without physical exams, doctors may miss certain diagnoses and miss out on building relationships with patients.

Despite a foothold in medicine that predates Hippocrates himself, the traditional physical exam might be on the verge of extinction. The coronavirus crisis has driven more routine medical appointments online, accelerating a trend toward telemedicine that has already been underway.

This worries Dr. Paul Hyman, author of a recently published essay in JAMA Internal Medicine, who reflects on what’s lost when physicians see their patients almost exclusively through a screen.

A primary care physician in Maine, Hyman acknowledges he’d already begun second-guessing routine physicals on healthy patients as insurance requirements pushed doctors away from them.

But while Hyman is now providing mostly telemedicine, like many doctors during the pandemic, he writes that he has gained a clearer sense of the value of the age-old practice of examining patients in person. He notes the ability to offer reassurance, be present for his patients and find personal fulfillment as a doctor.

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Digital health is redefining the house call

Doctor making a house call.

A house call is done from the comfort of your home combined with the personal attention of your doctor. There are two key words here that really drive the point home–home and your. Your doctor provides care in your house. The house call is also, in many ways, a reflection of things past. Today, healthcare has eliminated the ‘luxury’ of this type of intervention leaving patients and caregivers to languish in the germ-fill waiting rooms of physician offices, hospitals and medical clinics.

 

 

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Augmented reality will help astronauts in the future perform surgery on each other

augmented reality

A new augmented reality system could help astronauts take care of each other.

Astronauts will face all kinds of medical problems when traveling to Mars or other distant destinations , but rocket science isn’t surgery. And vice versa. A new augmented reality system could help astronauts take care of each other, overlaying computer graphics over a real patient to guide diagnoses or even surgery. It could even improve telemedicine in developing countries or remote spots.

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Increasing Number of British Websites Pushing Boundaries of Online Medicine

online medicine

In Britain, online medicine that offers consultations and medication are legal.

The doctor will see you now: Just click here. In Britain, an increasing number of websites are pushing the boundaries of online medicine, with at least a dozen sites offering consultations and medication most countries only allow during in-person visits — or remote ones with the help of a webcam or telephone call.

 

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Your Health in 2020 – Patients Will Become Empowered Participants

health-buddy

Bosch’s Health Buddy telemedicine system

Put aside the politics and the heated rhetoric. On this point we can all agree: Health care in the U.S. is fragmented at best. Inefficiencies abound. Stakeholders rarely communicate. Tasks better suited to computers are completed by hand. Providers have little time and incentive to adopt new technologies, many of which significantly change established workflows and often lead to fewer reimbursable visits.

 

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