How Will the Use of Telemedicine Kiosks Impact Pathologists’ Role?
According to a recent article in the Dark Daily, walk-in telemedicine kiosks are coming soon to local pharmacies, schools, retail stores, or employers. The kiosks are designed to allow consumers to have private medical consultations with physicians in a convenient setting. However, what does that mean for pathologists and their consultations?
Mayo Clinic has partnered with HealthSpot, the company that designed this new telemedicine kiosk. The pilot program, called the Mayo Clinical Health Connection, is placing these kiosks in its facilities in Austin and Albert Lea, Minnesota, specifically for use by employees of the Mayo Clinical Health System. Mayo officials hope that the use of these kiosks will contribute to reduced healthcare costs and improved access to medical services. In a parallel pilot project, Mayo Clinic is also placing its Mayo Clinic Health Connection kiosks in public schools in Austin, Minnesota. Plans are to eventually offer the service at university, employer, and retailer locations.
As stated in the HealthSpot press release, “We are excited to offer innovative health care technology locally and to leverage resources across our system to better serve our patients,” said Matt Bernard, M.D., Chair Family Medicine, Mayo Clinic. “The goal is to provide accessible and fast healthcare while at the same time reducing costs."
In addition to Mayo Clinic, walk-in telemedicine kiosks are also being adopted by other health organizations, including Cleveland Clinic, Rite Aid, and Kaiser Permanente.
While these kiosks will definitely impact the delivery of healthcare, they will also affect the pathology profession.
According to the article, pathologists should ask, "should pathology consultations—for both clinical laboratory testing and surgical pathology services—be an essential part of a telemedicine kiosk service? And, when is the right time for leaders in the pathology profession to engage HealthSpot and other companies selling similar telemedicine kiosks to initiate discussions on how to add pathology services to the menu of telemedicine services available to users of these kiosks."
Read the full article for more information.