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Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down: Telemedicine

The healthcare system in the US continues to stay in the spotlight. One offering, called telemedicine, is seen by many as a way to extend choice to patients who live in rural communities or professionals who are too busy to schedule doctor appointments.In the video “A New Kind of House Call”on CNN.com, you can see a reporter meet with a doctor over a web conference and visit a telemedicine center located in a Wal-Mart.

Telemedicine: Coming to a laptop near you

Although I’m accustomed to using conferencing technology for work meetings, I like the idea of being able to meet with my doctor this way as well. It’s hard for me to get away from work during the day for a visit, and often put off going to the doctor for something that seems minor. And don’t get me started on the long wait past my scheduled appointment time!

For many people, however, telemedicine is not just a convenience – it’s a lifeline. For those who live far from a doctor’s office or hospital, connecting with remotely with a doctor may the only feasible option for some people.

I give telemedicine a thumbs up- though meeting a doctor via conferencing certainly has its limitations, it seems a viable option for expanding coverage and choice for patients.

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