Friday, January 22, 2010

Healthcare pushing online

A recent article in the New York Times highlights the emerging practice of online consultations in cosmetic surgery. While many patients and physicians find this to be a useful way to efficiently find the right provider and discuss treatment options, others object that such "diagnosis" can't be made online via videoconferencing. These activities are likely to challenge laws about the interstate practice of medicine, benefiting all of those who seek to develop new, innovative health tools online. While we must always keep patient safety in mind, the market is reminding us that there are many health applications for which virtual meetings can substitute for face to face interactions. As technology and attitudes evolve, so must the laws that govern them.