The Doctor Is In... Your Bathroom

Wireless technology and networking appear to be ushering in the return of the house call. But sometimes, medicine and technology make strange bedfellows.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor

But it would also take a certain level of trust in the technology—both by the doctor and the patient. It's just a guess, but the Millennials-and-younger set (digital natives) seem most primed to put their faith in a video conference to not only convey accurate data, but also allow a doctor to fully "read" patients—not just their physical health statistics, but also their emotional health.

In addition, the medical community still has a long way to go on the tech front. Or maybe providers of electronic health records have a long way to go. Either way, there is plenty of dissatisfaction in the medical ranks regarding electronic records—not to mention the fact that they do not prevent mistakes. Case in point: the story of a wrongly dosed antibiotic that landed a young boy in an ICU.

I recently saw my doctor for a periodic exam, and when she entered the examining room, she sat down and gently and very seriously asked: "How are you doing? I know when you were here last, you were having some serious troubles."

I stared back at her blankly, trying to remember what sort of troubles I might have been having last time I was there. "Are you sure you have the right patient?" I asked.

"O'Connor, right?"

"Yes," I said, as she clicked her computer screen, searching the records.

It turns out, there was a "little red dot" next to my name that wasn't supposed to be there.

I have no idea what that dot meant, but I hope it now appears in the correct patient's records. And I hope she has overcome whatever troubles the doctor referenced.

Technology and health care, it seems, are still a work-in-progress.

Mary Catherine O'Connor is the editor of Internet of Things Journal and a former staff reporter for RFID Journal. She also writes about technology, as it relates to business and the environment, for a range of consumer magazines and newspapers.

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