This has tremendous potential for the medical tourism industry, because it will allow doctors overseas to communicate with US-based physicians and their patients before going abroad for medical care. There is one small problem, some states make it illegal to consult with a patient over the Internet after the patient goes home, and there are laws against doctors not being licensed in the states where the patient lives, as well as laws preventing foreign medical providers from doing certain procedures. It is imperative that these laws are changed before virtual doctor visits become more widespread.
In relatively few years, videoconferencing has advanced tremendously, from something that required expensive and complicated hardware setups to something most smartphone, tablet, and PC owners have easy access to. Using video for virtual visits in healthcare is a little more complicated — the connection has to be reliable and the service HIPAA compliant to protect patient medical information — but nonetheless virtual visits are gaining popularity as a new way to deliver healthcare.
Becky Wai, a spokesperson for online video service VSee, told MobiHealthNews on the sidelines of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) meeting in Austin this week, that of the 900 million doctor visits that took place in the US in the last year, about 50 percent of them could have been done remotely.
Of course, virtual visits can’t do everything that a doctor can do in-person. But in the average primary care checkup, a patient sees a doctor…
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