Concierge medicine is like the 5-star hotel of medicine. What does that mean? To start, you get customer service that makes you feel like the center of your doctor’s universe and continental breakfast isn’t just stale bagels and cereal. With the rise of the Internet, doctors not only improved their concierge abilities, but also expanded the range of patients they can reach.
1. Providing Care Across Continents
Tele-medicine is quickly catching on, but it began as an extremely niche service with 12 clients. A single practicing physician understood the needs of independent sailors who could potential encounter rough seas. With the help of a prescription medical kit or PMK, the doctor was able to provide remote care for his patients.
Using a smart phone or other mobile device, doctors have the capability of connecting with patients around the world and provide individualized care. For remote areas and in emergency situations, the Internet can be the key to accessing important medical attention and treatment.
2. Improving Emergency Situations
If you start thinking, you can probably list 10 emergency medical situations without running out of ideas. Wouldn’t it be great if your medical coverage included emergency calls to medical professionals who can talk you through wrapping your twisted ankle or measuring your heart rate? Thanks to the Internet combined with mobile technology, concierge medicine can offer your important emergency support.
Of course, the technology is also incredibly useful for dire situations such as car accidents or a soldier injured in combat. With the Internet, you have more control over emergency situations thanks to easy access to knowledgeable professionals.
3. Meeting the Demand Virtually
Have you ever noticed that many doctors base a significant portion of their diagnosis on how you answer their questions? If that’s the case, wouldn’t it be great to save on gas, time and money with a virtual doctor’s appointment? Virtual doctors may charge a flat fee based on consumption and typically conduct appointments via a video chat.
With a growing need for available doctors, virtual appointments stand to maximize the time of patients and doctors alike. To aid in these appointments, patients may use remote monitoring systems to take stock of important diagnostics like blood pressure or heart rate. Conversely, some mobile applications can already monitor heart rate and related health signs.
4. Stress-Free Walk-In Appointments
Walk-in appointments are stressful for everyone involved. Doctors are worried they can’t see everyone or provide the right level of attention. Patients are hoping to receive effective care while trying to manage their own schedules. Many clinics provide walk-in appointments as an important service, but how do doctors keep up with growing demand?
Retail pharmacies and clinics are keeping up with virtual doctors of their own. Patients work with nurses who have real-time access to doctors via a cloud system. In fact, some hospitals are even partnering with these retail chains to provide good healthcare.
5. Subscription Based Medicine
Concierge medicine doesn’t work on the typical monthly payment model. Instead, members pay a retainer fee and some organizations are even choosing to move on towards a subscription model. Think of your favorite TV or video service. You pay a small fee in exchange for unlimited access to your favorite entertainment and a little more. For a medical service, you get unlimited access to doctors, appointments and related activities with your monthly fee. When compared to insurance costs, you may end up saving a bundle.
Concierge medical service used to be reserved for the extremely wealthy, but the Internet makes it accessible for nearly anyone. The payment model may be unconventional for the medical community, but the benefits might just be worth it for the personalization and level of care.