Virtual health care centers – virtual health consults – telemedicine — skyping with Doctors…
Why didn’t they think of that sooner? My parenting life would have been so much less stressful if we’d had that kind of accessibility back then.
Enter your symptoms, next your credit card – and voila — you are having a “visit” with a Doctor?
That’s all I could think of after I read this past Sunday’s piece in the New York Times about how Telemedicine is taking off and insurance companies are already accepting virtual “visits” as reimbursable.
Frustrating and anxiety producing middle of the night calls to our Pediatrician – usually landed in the dead zone vortex of their answering service. High fevers, rashes, the kids swallowing questionable stuff and a litany of after hour surprises were frightening to navigate. Telemedicine would have come in mighty handy.
Today’s technology could have softened the trauma around one of the most frightening middle of the night long distance calls I ever got. I still get a pit in my stomach remembering that call from my college freshman.
“Ma, I’m sorry, I’m Ok I’m really ok but I need your help…I got “jumped” by some thugs.”
My boy’s best buddy in Boston had started chanting “Let’s Go Yankees” on their walk home from a party near their university. It was a dangerous chant given the neighborhood of die-hard Yankees haters and unluckily a local gang was in earshot. The chanter (my son’s friend) got jumped. My boy (a Red Sox fan) joined in the fray to protect his Yankee lovin buddy and both boys were beat up pretty badly.
I got the call at 2 am. I was fast asleep in New York. This is the kind of call Moms live in fear of. As I probed to discern how bad the bleeding was, how deep the cuts were, and how intense the swelling was around the eye — I would have given anything to leap through the phone and be there instantly. But alas, it was 2007 and there were no ipads – no face time and definitely no telemedicine.
(PS: The kids were taken to the ER at 3 am by the guy from Boston I had been dating. Needless to say, I married him soon after.) My son’s friend had a concussion but they were fine. (Lesson learned: Yankee chanting in Boston ceased from that time forward.)
Despite all the new tech that often challenges BA50s, this new twist on Doctors’ visits feels like a seamless transition from endless hours in the ER waiting for a medical opinion or being put on hold for days to be scheduled in for a Doctor’s appointment.
Our 20-somethings are often characterized by impatience, immediate gratification, and inventiveness which have produced some amazing technological breakthroughs in the service sector. So, when I ask my 20-somethings for the umpteenth time if they have had their “annual,” I get that blank stare that says “what’s an annual”? This is why telemedicine will work for them.
No time for preventive medicine – it’s all about fix and go. After all, my boys work 60 plus hours a week, like most of their peers. One in the music business, constantly on the road and the other in marketing cloud technology where daytime office visits mean too much time away from work. Doctors visits are scheduled on an as needed basis.
The kids’ world is cyber, virtual and easily accessible – Doctors are not. One’s music spreads virally the other’s product lives in clouds – so how can they get to the Doctor on the planet earth? Walking into a brick and mortar office seems almost old school..
So now that the kids are independent and those college years are behind us my worry level has diminished. Now with cyber medicine in their wheelhouse I’m feeling pretty good about their ability to handle their medical needs. The good news is – I’m sleeping better – the bad news is – I’m no longer needed.
Maybe I’ll set up a skype visits with a shrink to talk about it.