I think it was at the Mobile Health Expo that I heard someone talk about the idea of Infrastructure Independence as the new model for healthcare. I thought it was a really interesting idea.
They described the current model of healthcare as follows:
*Low frequency visits
*Acute care focused
Then they described what the considered to be the future of healthcare:
*When they need it
*Where they are
Of course, this was all said in the context of infrastructure independence and mobile healthcare. I found the list and concept very thought provoking.
It also prompted a lot of questions like: What will this mean for doctors? What will it take to move to that type of healthcare?
I remember writing about an iPhone EMR back when the iPhone first launched. I had a lady from San Francisco contact me about an iPhone based EMR that she was using to document all of her patients. She had no office and did all home visits. She documented everything in her iPhone. Talk about keeping her fixed costs low. It was fascinating then and still is now.
Although, I think the idea above extends beyond just a doctor making home visits and documenting their visit through some mobile application connected to an EMR. Instead, The above descriptions describe a future where many times the doctor doesn’t need to be with the patient. I think this will involve some combination of streaming hi def video and medical devices in the home. Everyone has a thermometer at home. Why not a blood pressure cuff and other medical devices which stream the information from the device to your doctor?
It’s a very different world for healthcare. Making this change will be hard, but it’s an interesting world to consider. Certainly many doctors will hate the idea and others will embrace it. As a patient I look forward to the day when I don’t have to make the trip to the doctor and enjoy all the quiet time in the waiting room.