Various types of new healthcare delivery strategies and venues are constantly being introduced. For example, I have reported how retail drug stores are being used for both walk-in clinic visits (see: Details about CVS' MinuteClinic POCT Strategy) as well as patient service centers for national reference laboratories (see: National Reference Labs Expand Their PSC Footprint in Groceries & Retail Pharmacy). In this same spirit, various types of telemedicine are being offered from the care of minor problems (see: Details of Cleveland Clinic's MyCare Online Virtual Telemedicine Visits; Kaiser Permanente Announces that Virtual Visits with Providers Have Surpassed Face-to-Face Appointments) to surgical consultations (see: Surgeons Extol the Advantage of Telemedicine in Rural British Columbia) to virtual intensive care (see: Virtual Critical Care (YouTube video)). Now comes news that telemedicine kiosks are being installed in pharmacies in the U.K. (see: THE LATEST IN TELEMEDICINE COMES IN THE FORM OF MEDICSPOT, A DOCTOR IN A KIOSK). Below is an excerpt from the article:
Telemedicine may have reached a new peak with the latest development from the U.K. Meet MedicSpot, the self-proclaimed “most affordable, easiest and, quickest way to see a private general practitioner.” The catch? Your doctor will live in a kiosk. These little clinics are located in pharmacies throughout the U.K. and are meant to virtually connect you to a real live doctor. What’s more, all the kiosks come complete with the medical equipment you’d need for an examination, including a blood pressure cuff, stethoscope, pulse oximeter, thermometer, and a camera. Don’t worry — if you need to use these devices, MedicSpot promises that “a pharmacy staff member is always available to give you a helping hand if needed.”....You don’t need to make an appointment in order to see one of MedicSpot’s kiosk-based doctors. Simply visit your nearest MedicSpot pharmacy...and get a walk-in consultation with a U.K. registered general practitioner “within a matter of minutes,” the company notes....Thus far, however, the company notes that about 33 percent of the consults it’s made has dealt with coughs, colds, and ear infections. And about a fifth of visits have been booked by non-U.K. natives who may not want to deal with going to a real hospital. A consultation with MedicSpot will set you back about $40, and ought to take just 10 to 15 minutes.
One of the criticisms of telemedicine visits to patients in their living rooms is that they are suitable primarily for those who are not acutely ill. A British company, MedicSpot, is installing kiosks inside pharmacies with the necessary equipment for monitoring a patient's vital signs such as blood pressure, heart sounds, and temperature. This allows a more complete physical examination of patients. The location of these telemedicine kiosks in pharmacies ensures that the medical monitoring equipment will always be in working order and sanitary but also that patients can be instructed in their use. I am sure that each of these kiosks is expensive so their location in pharmacies also offers protection against vandalism.
I found it fascinating that the MedicSpot web site has its own blog page. This strikes me as a sensible and innovative way to reach out to potential patients and also provide some useful information. Here's a list of some of the blog note titles referenced on this page:
- Stress & The City
- Is Your Daily Commute Harming Your Health?
- Everything you need to know about Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
- A Guide to the NHS for International Students
- Everything You Need to Now about Eczema/Dermatitis