Virtual medicine has great potential
The article, “Virtual visits to the doctor becoming more common” (Nov. 1), was very informative and hopeful. A demonstration performed by Dr. Brian Grady from the University of Maryland using telepsychiatry in our more rural areas of Maryland has shown success as well.
Wouldn’t it also be exciting if this kind of technology could be used somehow in our fight to stop the heroin epidemic? Here’s a thought: A primary care physician having access to a psychiatrist or therapist via video camera could perhaps assist more efficiently in assessing, evaluating and placing a patient with a behavioral health disorder into treatment on the spot.
Other alternatives might be something like Maryland’s Behavioral Health Crisis Hotline providing experienced behavioral health treatment providers to take the calls and utilize, whenpossible, FaceTime to make quick assessments and on-demand, immediate access to care, thus preventing overdoses.
Cardiology is another specialty where there is an app that can be used so a symptomatic patient can record their own EKG on their iPhone from any location and email it to their cardiologist. For example, this works great for patients who are on a new cardiac medication. If they experience a breakthrough of the same dysrhythmia, their doctor has the option of increasing this new medication to see if that alleviates it. If so, another visit to the doctor’s office is prevented.