Don’t want to drive to your Doctors Office? How about a Virtual Nurse that Makes Home Visits? Indeed how about a specialist who can consult with you via a robot with a two way video communications package?
Doctors and nurses who make house calls have been obsolete since the days of Marcus Welby, M.D. But thanks to modern computer telecommunications, something of the sort is coming back. One example is a virtual nurse, developed by a Silicon Valley company, which can interact with a patient at home, doing things like taking vital signs and checking on a person’s range of motion. In this way it can be determined whether someone who might be in some kind of medical distress would need to see a real health care profession, who can also consult via two way video at home.
Another example of how remote medicine is changing how people access health care concerns a joint studybeing conducted by Northern Arizona University and the Mayo Clinic. NAU has acquired a VGo robot with two way video communications that allows doctors at one location to communicate with an injured college athlete at another location to ascertain whether he has had a concussion or some other head trauma. In that way a trained neurologist can examine injured people immediately who may not otherwise be able to see such an on call specialist because they are in a remote location. By asking questions and asking the patient to perform certain tasks, the neurologist will be able to determine whether the athlete is concussed or not and suggest treatment to the team sports doctor. The VGo robot is being used by the Mayo Clinic to assess stroke victims in remote areas as well.
Combined with even more cutting edge technology that is in the pipeline, like sensors that could be implanted or even swallowed that will monitor a person’s state of health in real time and alert a doctor when something wrong is developing, remote medicine will soon make automatically getting in the car and going to the doctor for what ails you a thing of the past.