I’ve been talking about ways of coping with health care costs. Here’s another twist: telemedicine.
…a growing number of people monitoring their vital signs through
"telemedicine," which allows health care providers to perform checkups
The technology can be as basic as the kiosks Wilson
uses, which transmit blood pressure and weight readings to a remote
facility monitored by a nurse. On more sophisticated devices, live
doctors appear on a screen to listen to everything from a patient’s
heartbeats to lung waves. Some machines let patients aim a camera at
injuries so doctors can instruct them how to properly dress a wound.
The number of companies manufacturing home telecare devices in the
last three years has tripled to 15 and the Veterans Administration
plans to double the number of patients it puts on home telecare to
20,000 over the next year, said Jonathan Linkous, executive director of
the American Telemedicine Association.
About 3,500 hospitals, clinics, schools and other facilities use telemedicine today, up from 2,000 six years ago, he said.
Health care providers can catch warning signs early and take action to
prevent a stroke or heart attack, said Johanna Lupoli, an Eddy VNA
nurse who specializes in delivering telemedicine.
"It saves time, money, can be done instantaneously," Silver said. "This
is going to become as common as a cell phone in our industry."
I believe it. By the time I’m tottering around on a cane, I fully expect to be wired up like a Christmas tree.