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Google Rolling Out Video Chats with Doctors

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By Phil Cohen

Google is getting into healthcare – sort of.

A new feature wrapped into Google’s Helpouts service aims to provide video chatting capability with physicians so patients can seek one-on-one medical advice from the comfort of their homes. Helpouts is currently the media giant’s repository of live and pre-recorded training videos that users can purchase from the experts that post them.

The hope is that patients will be able to use virtual consultations such as these to gain “basic information” about a number of average ailments. Of course, one major shortfall of the digital “visit” is the inability to tailor diagnoses and advice to a specific patient’s condition.

Used in conjunction with other emerging healthcare technologies, however, video chats with doctors could be a key element in changing the face of healthcare. Home testing kits and other gadgets may allow patients who are homebound or lack easy access to regular medical care to get faster, more cost-effective and accurate diagnoses and treatment before conditions worsen.

The research and development of new healthcare technologies may have a number of different effects on existing and new healthcare jobs. It is doubtful that virtual visits will significantly impact the need for actual doctors’ offices, though there may be an increased demand for practitioners that are willing to supplement their in-person practices with virtual office hours. That, in turn, may create new positions for healthcare staff to support “click and mortar” operations.

Check back regularly for updates on Google’s video chat rollout and other technology developments in healthcare.

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Phil Cohen

About the author

Philip Cohen is the founder and President of PRN Funding, LLC. PRN Funding is an extraordinarily focused niche player in healthcare funding. With years of…... Read More

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