Will The Online Doctor Visit Ever Become Common?

from the slowly,-but-surely dept

Every few months yet another news source writes a story wondering why doctors don’t make better use of the internet. Everyone admits that there are some issues that could be better handled via online consultations, but very few doctors do so. The answer, though, is always the same. Many doctor’s don’t do it for insurance reasons. Many insurance companies won’t reimburse online consultations (though, that may change starting next year). More importantly, many doctor’s are worried about potential malpractice suits if something comes up that they would have been able to diagnose in person, but missed via an online consultation. I would think it makes sense, but only under certain conditions – such as for follow-up check-ups concerning specific treatments (to ask whether or not the treatment is working). However, it’s probably not the greatest method for diagnosing a new problem. Eventually, these sorts of consultations will become more common, but the medical establishment isn’t exactly known for rushing in with new technologies.

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