Distance Doctoring, Distance Nursing And Distance Learning... All Coming Back

from the thank-heavens-for-distance dept

The internet makes it easier to communicate with people over large distances, and for years we've been hearing about the power of "distance" everything. More recently, some of that talk had died down after the early promises of distance learning/doctoring/whatever failed to live up to its early hype. However, it appears that the distance concept is coming back into fashion. One after the other, we just came across three such stories. First, is the news of a hospital in Michigan that is using a robot with a video screen for a head to let remote doctors talk to and examine patients. The doctor's can control the robot from another location (such as home) in order to look over a patient without being there in person. Of course, the idea isn't to replace the need for the doctor to be present, but to make it easier in situations when the doctor is away and is needed quickly (such as to look over something in the middle of the night when they're home). Meanwhile, over in the Netherlands, it's not the doctors who get to stay home, but the patients, who can now use a webcam system to communicate with nurses. The idea is to help out the elderly who are confined to their homes but can't afford to have a healthcare worker visiting them on a regular basis. Meanwhile, outside of the healthcare field it appears that even e-learning is making a comeback, as companies are using it more strategically, to help keep employees up-to-date and trained - but not relying on it as a full replacement for training programs. No matter what, it looks like another bunch of concepts discredited during the boom and bust years are now making a comeback.

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