Healthcare Revisited

Consider how healthcare should be…

Why telehealth is so scary…

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I’ve been hearing quite a bit lately about how telemedicine (connecting providers to other providers for virtual consultations) and telehealth (connecting patients to providers for virtual care) are exciting new technologies, but that there just isn’t enough return on investment (ROI) to justify the cost of implementing them. The truth is, there’s massive ROI potential from this kind of care model, but existing providers simply don’t have much motivation to pursue it.

Telehealth is scary to existing healthcare systems, because it fundamentally changes the paradigm of how healthcare is delivered. In order to provide modern healthcare, we’ve always had to create massive “care factories” (also known as hospitals). Existing healthcare players have become pretty good at operating these care factories under the existing system’s rules. They are pretty happy with that situation, also, because the ridiculously high costs associated with building and running these factories protect established players by creating incredibly high barriers to entry into the healthcare industry. It’s also meant that the hospitals have become a vortex, sucking providers, services and patients into their field of influence.

Telemedicine and telehealth remove geography as a barrier to care. That means that suddenly, it’s possible to push out healthcare to the patients, rather than centralizing providers and pulling patients to our giant, expensive care factories. That’s incredibly disruptive! Read the rest of this entry »