A Trip Into Your Patients’ Future Doctor Visit

Most doctors haven’t appreciated their government-sponsored migration from paper charts to a clunky keyboard. The pointing and clicking is killing productivity in the name of data capture. But what if I told you that you can increase productivity by completely eliminating chart interaction?

I can easily imagine a not so distant future where your patients are automatically identified (facial recondition, RFID, etc.) and signed in as they walk into your office. A future where there’s no need to fill out forms because medical records will automatically be pulled from “the cloud” and displayed on a terminal in your exam room, while missing or outdated information is entered via a kiosk, a tablet/phone app, or text message.

This future office will even be capable of automatically collecting the majority of vitals. According to new MIT research, heart rate can be collected automatically by detecting the subtle changes in a person’s skin color. IEEEXplore claims height can be determined by computers that watch a patient walk around the waiting room, and fitbit proposes weight & BMI can easily be collected with pressure sensitive flooring or WiFi enabled scales. Any other vitals that require manual use of an instrument will have data automatically sent to your patient’s chart.

Furthermore, conversations with your patient will be transcribed on the fly using speech-to-text technology. Context sensitive parsers will organize the data into logical groups mining the care plan, prescription drugs, and other relevant data that comes up during the conversation. At the end of the visit, a physician will only need to quickly review the automatically captured data and approve it—generating prescriptions, clinical summary, insurance claims, and copay calculations at the same time.

Imagine that— a future with absolutely no patient charts left to manage. Once a pipe dream, today, it looks like we’re closer than you think!




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