Will physician salaries nosedive due to supply and demand like every other commodity?
Interesting thoughts because in the next few years the world of healthcare is going to change.
Dramatic is putting it softly.
So what is going to happen causing this dramatic shift in todays world of healthcare thinking?
For one, technology. We once needed very expensive, complex equipment in the hospital to get information on the patient, now we can do it on an smartphone. Take your ECG? On the phone. O2 Sat? On the phone. Vitals, same thing. Lab results? Soon. What we used to do in an expensive million dollar ICU room we can do in your home. On the typical non-invasive ICU monitor I have a kit in my living room that does all of the same monitoring except mine is a bit better. It measures skin temp and moisture.
Maybe the hospitals will catch up.
Sleep labs will go away as we simply send you a monitor in the mail with instructions, you hook yourself up, press the button as you get ready for sleep, and a far more efficient sleep study than you will ever get in a strange bed, in a strange office so far removed from your normal pattern of sleep. This is already happening today. Sleep labs as we know them are doomed.
The interesting thing is this all makes so much sense! Technology sort of bypassed healthcare in the past, partially because of bureaucracy, but that no longer is holding back progress as entrepreneurship is bypassing the politics and control of yesteryear. The AMA is dying and private enterprise is taking over medicine.
Why on earth would you need to go to a family practice for anything outside of chronic, debilitating illness? Check your blood pressure? At home ,where it’s normal and not affected by the worry, wait and frustration of sitting in a cold office waiting room among other sick people.
Sick yourself? Cold, flu, diarrhea? Walk in clinics. Fast, inexpensive, and highly competitive, driving costs down and service way, way up. Already urgent cares spend a lot of effort to ensure you receive quick service. They are advertising the fast service as well, with innovative billboards announcing the wait time in minutes.
The world of a hour wait in a doctors office is satisfyingly over.
Telemedicine. The new world order in medicine. Everybody is jumping on it not realizing it will kill the very business they have. Scheduled appointments will be on the hour or minute. No wait. Dial in and instantly you are on camera, on video, sound, tools at the ready, vitals, blood, sugar, oxygen, ECG all in a cube at the local drugstore. Oh my, how things are going to transform.
Choice? Now it’s not who in the community you might pick to visit. It’s who in the world. This isn’t the future, it’s NOW.
Honestly the only thing needed for a routine office visit, a cold, upset stomach, or a host of many other inconvenient gripes is a prescription. You can get the answer with the proper tools, and algorithms currently available anywhere in the world. As a matter of fact 85% of doctors do the same thing--research your condition on the internet that anyone can do with the proper tools, tests and algorithms.
Specialty practice will remain, and hospitalized care still necessary but telemedicine will dominate both areas. The best for less will rule the marketplace.
Maybe the future will develop with only a few high tech centers around the world. Video conferencing with tools connected in town drugstores or Walmart booths, or ultimately in your own home. Timely, efficient, with the best medical care at your service from the brightest minds and healthcare systems in the world.
Hook up, analyze, connect. Download a prescription and you never left the couch, or office or perhaps your car.
Great medicine, no wait, no worry, references and best practice included with website annotations to validate.
Don’t think this is coming?
Thank again. Most of it is already here.