Online doctor visits are a “trend” that came to stay. The called “Telehealth” was a behavioral change, expedited by Covid.
If before people were reluctant to accept it as a way of consulting a doctor, the necessity made almost everyone open to adopting the solution.
The benefits are obvious. You can do it conveniently from home, which saves time and money, and avoids all annoyances such as finding a place to park, waiting for a long time to see the doctor, etc.
However, there is another aspect, not frequently mentioned, that could make Telehealth a more efficient way to treat patients.
How well do you remember your visits to the doctor? Do you remember how you felt, what the doctor asked, the exams that were requested, the results…?
And from the doctor’s side, how detailed is his/her reports of your visit? Does the doctor take notes in a notebook or type them on a computer? Where does that information go? How often is it analyzed?
Wouldn’t it be incredibly helpful if the consultation could be transcripted, analyzed, shared with the patience, and incorporated into the patient’s records?
The good news is that the technology is already available to do so.
Text transcription, or automatic speech recognition technology is affordably available. The doctor would save time, and focus on seeing the patience and not taking notes, or relying on his/her memory.
Natural Language Processing (NLP), allied to other machine learning systems, makes it possible for the consultation’s main points to be summarized, and main information to be abstracted and added to the patient’s record.
The information being properly recorded does not only allow the doctor to have a fully accurate history of the patient but also allows this information to be processed using AI, which can help to predict problems or illnesses that would otherwise be missed or spotted too late.
The technology is already available and the costs although significant, are probably much less than people would imagine.
The best alternative is to consult with AI developers with experience in healthcare, who can help to create a road map to implement it. By integrating existing APIs, or by developing customized software, all options can be evaluated, for all budgets.