One of the big announcements going into TEDMED was the idea of a Smart Phone Physical. It was such an intriguing proposition that Katie wrote about it here and Anne wrote about it here. Maybe that means we should coordinate content more, but in some ways I think it’s interesting to see what topics my writers find worthy to write about. The fact that they both independently wrote about the concept says something important.
I think the core message is clear: we all would love a smart phone physical. I think this is underscored by the opposing idea that we all hate going to the doctor. It’s not about the doctor in particular, I love the doctors I’ve seen. There’s just nothing beautiful about the experience of going to the doctor. Those visits are plagued by long wait times, added expense, uncomfortable situations, and often poor customer service.
I realize there are exceptions to the above, but this is the stigma of a visit to the doctor. Some of this can be solved by rethinking the physician visit (something some doctors have really done well) and some of it is just inherent with the nature of a medical visit. The later is difficult to change. The former is likely why the smart phone physical is so intriguing from a patient perspective. It flips the experience on the head and in many ways takes out the unpleasant parts of a visit to the doctor.
Although, the following tweet illustrates that just doing the physical on the smart phone won’t solve all the issues:
My favorite #TEDMED delegate comment might have been, “I went to get a smartphone exam and they said I needed to have an appointment.”
— EMR, EHR and HIT(@ehrandhit) April 21, 2013
Just because the visit is electronic doesn’t mean that they can’t still have long wait times, added expense, and poor customer service, but I still love the idea of my kids terrorizing my house instead of the waiting room.