ClinicSpeak: the uberization of health care

How quickly can we uberize the management of MS? #ClinicSpeak #MSBlog #MSResearch

"At the EAN in Berlin I gave a short talk at an Innovation Exchange about the future of tracking and assessing MS using mobile technology. I presented the concept of the uberization of healthcare; i.e. the provision of healthcare by rapid access eMedicine apps supported by concierge type service where neurologists, or robots, come to your home or place of work to examine you. In other words your neurologist, or a neurologist, will be available at very short notice. In addition, with this type eMedicine service there would be no geographic boundaries, in other words a neurologist physically based in Paris could be managing someone with MS in Quebec City. I deliberately chose these cities as they are both French speaking, but with new simultaneous, real-time, translation services emerging language need not be a barrier. I got real pushback from the audience who think I was presenting a science fiction vision of healthcare. I really don't think so, this type of service is a reality already. I get one or two email requests for neurological advice per day. Due to time and legal constraints I say no. But there are already many fee-for-service email, skype, or eMedicine portals that charge for advice of this nature. In some parts of the US this is supported by a rapid access concierge service where a neurologist is prepared to visit you in your home to examine you. This all costs money and it is hard at present to envision this business model being transferred to a socialist healthcare system. I say why not? There is a massive push in the NHS to take services into the community so why not into the home? The latter may be prove to be cost effective if it prevents MSers being admitted to hospital and improves outcome in general. We already do this with nursing and palliative care services so why not other specialist services?"

"When I was planning to do an eMedicine test run, using Microsoft Healthvault, last year I contacted my insurance company for clearance. They stated that I would be not covered for an eMedicine service if the patients were not resident in the UK. I argued that if someone in the US got an airplane and travelled to London and was seen by me in private practice that would be fine, but giving advice via the internet to someone in the US would not? They still haven't gotten back to me on this; clearly the insurance industry needs to catch-up with technology. There are clearly solutions to this as many eMedicine services in the US take all-comers regardless of where they live."

"How do you feel about your MS being managed using eMedicine?"

CoI: The innovation exchange was run and funded by Novartis.

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