Balancing face-to-face with remote access care

Business travel isn’t at the top of my list of favorite things to do. But being on the road does give me a chance to catch up on my reading. Last week, I was on my way to the American Telemedicine Association conference in San Jose and opened my issue of Newsweek to an article titled, “Why Your Doctor Has No Time to See You.” A significant portion of the story was dedicated to how important it is for patients and providers to have high-touch, face-to-face encounters—something of an ironic message to be receiving on a trip dedicated to telemedicine. Without a doubt, telemedicine and other technologies will provide great value in increasing access and quality, while helping healthcare reduce costs. But this article likewise reminds us that healthcare, at the end of the day, is an intensively human and personal experience.