Is Telehealth the Future of Health Support?

In the video below, Cigna presents its mobile platform as “the future of health support,” but I have different view of it.

Cigna describes itself as “more than just a health insurance company.” It’s a global health service company.

I contend that although Cigna Mobile may define “a future” of health care, it’s not “the” future. Still, this video is interesting because it suggests that insurance companies have the financial incentive to push wellness and telehealth while hospitals have the incentive  to order more tests under fee-for-service plans.

Where might the future of telehealth lead us? Start by asking what consumers want. See What do you Want from Health Care? and notice the implications for outsourcing knowledge work, which may threaten many medical workers.

If you’re a new doctor, you just spent years in medical school to earn your MD and now struggle to keep up with the pace of innovation while realizing that people with less education now have remote access to powerful diagnostic computer systems to amplify their skills and increase their productivity. And you still have $100,000 in student loans.

If this is the future, who do you think will be funding telehealth and these advanced computer support systems? I’d argue it’s the organizations with the financial means and motivation to do so.

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