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Create a Teleplatform, Not a Teleproduct


Someday, a visit to the doctor might be replaced by a visit to an electronics store, to purchase technology with the ability to diagnose your condition at home.

stethoscope, practice management, medical practice entrepreneurship, innovation and entrepreneurship

Telemedicine continues to evolve with increasing levels of adoption. There are many questions still to be answered about the technologies, including whether they reduce costs or just add to them. You see, in sick care, there is no Moore's Law.

One scenario is that with the use of deep and machine learning, remote sensing, and pattern recognition technologies, telemedicine could evolve into a DIY consumer product rather than the current B2B2C or B2C business model.

There are several medical specialties that are disproportionately based on pattern recognition, like otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat), ophthalmology, plastic surgery, radiology, pathology, and dermatology. Instead of creating a product, entrepreneurs will create a whole product teleplatform for patient-customers to buy off the shelf and all the possible patient-funded models that go with it.

One of these days, we will see over-the-counter telemedicine products, much like home blood pressure cuffs and pregnancy tests. You will buy them online or at Best Buy in their medical products section when you buy your next mobile device or, your insurance company or employer will buy them for you. However, the first step in making that happen is creating products that have proven clinical efficacy and safety. Would you buy a defective TV at Costco?

The land of DIY medicine is hazardous territory. However, as technologies get smarter and more integrated, telediagnosticians and, eventually, teledoctors offering treatment, could find themselves out of a job.

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Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice
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