Remember the Human Voice?

Pete Celano, 11 November 2015

Patient-generated data is more voluminous by the day:  From Wearables, Remote Patient Monitoring (“RPM;” think scale, pulse ox, BP), and survey responses of all kinds, from evidence-based screeners and the like. [this is part 1 of a 2-parter; part 2 is here]

Yet there’s a plain-vanilla form of patient data that is at the middle of a tectonic shift in healthcare:  The Human Voice (aka, audio).  Combined with real-time visuals (aka, video).

It’s the early, halcyon days of the Virtual Visits era.  VV.

And there’s straight-up VV, or VV interleaved with traditional, face-to-face encounters.

Accenture recently investigated the space, writing  “Virtual Health: The Untapped Opportunity to Get Most out of Healthcare,” and defined three scenarios that combine in-person and digital health visits that together can save billions of dollars’ worth of primary care resources.

The dilemma, of course, is the digital divide.  Many of the consumers who need to access healthcare the most, have the least in terms of technology.  No, not everyone is armed today with a smartphone and/or tablet.

The presumptuous “Race to Wearables” et al misses three inalienable facts–

  1. Most Wearables data is going to come from the Worried Well.  Not the sick.
  2. Blood Pressure et al?  Not easy to self-administer, especially if you’re old or sick.
  3. Reimbursement?  Little-to-none for RPM et al, but there’s nascent-and-growing reimbursement for VV.

John Wooden (basketball coaching legend from UCLA) said:  “If you spend too much time learning the tricks of the trade, you may not learn the trade.”

The healthcare trade today remains the steady drumbeat of human encounters, and what’s right in front of us, sans “tricks,” is moving some of these encounters to VV, often with a Medical Assistant there to help, and with built-in vitals.  Thus the prediction:  Here comes Kiosking in Healthcare.  See my post next month on how kiosks will prove to be the essential spokes in the VV wheel … including at your local library, perhaps.




The HealthSpot Kiosk from

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