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Virtual Housecall

Do you remember “The Jetsons” when George or one of the kids would call up a doctor through a screen from their home and the doctor would say something like, “The computer tells me you’ve got space measles. I’ll teleport over some medicine and see me on videophone in two weeks.”
 
Ok, so the show may not have happened exactly that way but that’s what everyone imagined would happen all the way in the future…in 2008. Well, reality is now not that far from fiction. Relayhealth.com is a web site that allows patients to ask questions about their health diagnosis while doctors can treat patients and refill prescriptions at their convenience.
 
The “Today” show examined the pros and cons of this type of medical care with a doctor who uses the program and one who is staunchly against it. The pro doctor says that only existing patients, not new ones, can use this service so that the doctor is already familiar with their medical history. This doctor felt it was a huge time saver on both sides, since docs can attend to patients when they can and patients don’t have to trek to the office for a visit. The doctor who was against the program felt that there was no replacement for seeing a patient in the flesh, and your health is the last place you should cut corners.
 
With insurance companies like Aetna and Cigna reimbursing doctors for their time spent online treating patients, you can maybe expect to see that Jetsons vision come true sooner than you realized. [Today Show]

Posted: 4/4/08