When I first solely started practicing Telemedicine in 2016, I couldn’t wrap my head around the push back in Medicine against Telemedicine. At that time, it was said that Telemedicine is equivalent to Medicine. Once I started working in the industry I realized what the main issue was. The start up Telehealth companies business model for Telemedicine was that of a prescription-pill mill.
One should complete a consult in 5 minutes, even for opioid use disorder, which included the time to eprescribe in another window on another platform with 2 point system authentication for a controlled substance, Buprenorphine. This is not Medicine. Ultimately, the COVID pandemic happened, and brick and mortar institutions were forced to pivot and adapt, including the adoption of Telemedicine, as it should be practiced, equivalent to Medicine.
I have been solely practicing Telemedicine for over 6 years, and I can hear flat affect via only an audio consultation. I can appreciate shortness of breath as well, secondary to the gasping for breath, and stopping mid-sentences to breath. I can hear distress. Ultimately, Telemedicine is Medicine, and one day 90-95% of Medicine will be conducted this way, due to the advances in wearables, and point of care devices, such as home-portable electrocardiograms (EKG).
The future of Medicine, in the form of the Jetsons, is here. There is no going back, and with the advent of generative augmented intelligence (AI), like Chat GPT, we are full fledged in the future.