Kathie Melocco - Health Activism

Blog dedicated to Social Justice and Health and Wellbeing Activism

April 07, 2013

Will HealthSpot Change Doctors Visits Forever?

Much hype is occurring in the Australian market place about the arrival of online healthcare appointment booking services as players try to convince the medical professional to adopt this new productivity technology for practice management.

Given the hesitancy of healthcare professionals to embrace these services thus far as the 'norm' rather than an 'option' online appointment booking services have switched in some cases to trying to have take-up driven by the consumers with a range of crowd voting campaigns now beginning to hit the streets.

Problem is with the campaigns I have seen thus far, all fail to tell the consumer that their doctor MUST pay for this service and in some cases there is even a tiered payment structure in place.

In other words, some healthcare segments, for example dentists are asked to pay more than others such as GP's or Allied Health thereby effectively subsidising their colleagues' medical practices?

Consumers supporting 'voting' campaigns would be well advised to check how their doc is being asked 'to join' the service and, what payment methods are being encouraged. They should be transparently displayed on the appointment booking service's site for everyone to see.

But have we moved passed such services before they have had time to be adopted anyway?

Will the current online health appointment booking services be enough in this market to sustain a stand alone business model?

Will the current online health appointment booking services available in Australia soon be outdated with new disruptive technologies in healthcare enabling access to doctors in a completely revolutionary way?

A new service trialled in the U.S known as Healthspot aims to do just this.

The HealthSpot Care4 Station is a fully enclosed kiosk that delivers primary and specialty care in private settings such as pharmacies, supermarkets and workplaces. The Care4 Station increases convenient care options like extended hours and physician availability while also bringing healthcare access to remote and underserved populations. The private medical kiosk connects patients to doctors over real-time, high-definition videoconferences with wireless technology. Digital medical devices integrated into the unit allow doctors to collect vital health information. Patient information, video, prescriptions, appointment scheduling and visit records can be transmitted securely over the Sprint 4G network.

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At June 26, 2013 at 5:02 PM , Blogger Dr George Margelis said...

Appointments are a good start but there is a need for a much more disruptive change in the healthcare delivery model to deliver the required efficiency gains required to make Australian healthcare sustainable. The Care4 station may be part of that disruptive innovation, but we need to look at the reimbursement model and the training model for the relevant healthcare professionals.


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