On TMC’s Video Conferencing community Erik Linask reported on the fact that 7% of doctors are using video in their practice and this got me thinking about how the IP communications market flattened the world allowing jobs which were once required to be in the US to be outsourced to India and elsewhere.
For those of you who have followed my writings for years you know my company TMC has been at the forefront of educating the world on IP communications – and one of the unintended consequences of this technology was the outflow of jobs from the US to other parts of the world.
Thomas Friedman details how optical fibers have flattened the world and moreover – that Americans are not ready for the ensuing competition
But when you consider that US companies have used technology to lower their costs and the US healtcare system is not only one of the most expensive in the world, its costs are growing out of control – you realize we need to solve the problem.
Sure there is Obamacare – but the basic premise of this new entitlement is a broke country is going to spend another trillion dollars to insure even more people. The idea of insuring 30M more people and saving money as its proponents tout doesn’t pass any logic test that humans innately posses.
So this leads us to the fact that in order for the US healthcare system to lower costs it too will have to outsource its services and we can expect nurses and doctors to eventually be treating us from other countries. This isn’t a tremendous leap as it is already being done but without question inter-country video conferencing will eventually be used far more frequently to treat patients.
I have a good friend who recently flew to Costa Rica for an operation because his dental surgery estimate in the US was $50k. In Costa Rica the cost was around $14k and when he had a problem a few months later the doctor flew him down again for free and fixed the issue. He is thrilled with the results.
These ideas are not far fetched as there are already expert witnesses participating in court cases via Skype – as they cost less and are available to listen to testimony live and respond via chat to lawyers with suggestions on questions to ask.
Internet protocol is more than just a standard for passing packets of data – it has become the nervous system of the new global economy and if we aren’t thinking about how it will transform industries in the future, we will get blindsided. I think we will see much more use of video conferencing in the medical field and the side benefit will hopefully be lower costs for US citizens.