Telemedicine for you and me

Telemedicine – using technology to provide clinical health care services – is growing rapidly. The welcome screen on a Cleveland Clinic app promises a "faster, easier" doctor visit via videochat.

Whether you work or stay home to raise a family, getting sick often throws a monkey wrench into your daily routine. As if the aches and pains slowing you down are not enough, trying to fit in 15 minutes of face-to-face time with your family doctor may introduce undue stress as you try to figure out how to accommodate the unexpected.

Unless you are fortunate enough to work or live close to your doctor’s office, you would have to include in your total time calculation: travel time, wait time, actual face time with your doctor, and depending on the doctor’s diagnosis, the time to pick up your medications. Add those up and it becomes an ordeal of an hour or two that you need to squeeze into your day.

My wife recently ran into such conundrum. Unless she missed a note from Dr. Spock that the “teleporter” (from Star Trek fame) is as common as an Uber service, she had to find a way to take close to two hours from her work for what amounted to 15 minutes of time with her doctor. I’m sure many can relate!

Telemedicine, a clinical service delivery methodology using digital world tools to provide health care at a distance, has come a long way. It has become a viable option when real world commitments and responsibilities make it a challenge to take time off to see a doctor for “minor” health issues. The key word here is “minor” and it is important to check with the service provider ahead of time.

Unfortunately for my wife, I completely forgot about the app on my smartphone for Cleveland Clinic’s “Express Care Online” where the welcome screen claims you can “See a doctor anytime, from anywhere.” The service connects you to a videochat session with a physician from your computer, tablet or smartphone without requiring travel to the medical office. I intend to test the service and write about it in a future column. If any readers have feedback on this or other telemedicine experiences, please drop a note to my editor at

Telemedicine – another innovative use of a digital world tool that frees us to attend to the more important things in our real world!

Tak Sato

Technology and Business Strategist with over 25 years of experience. Holds Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science and MBA from Cleveland State University.

As co-founder of geek with a heart with the service mark"Hand-holding You in the Digital World" and co-founder of Center for Aging in the Digital World, a nonprofit empowering seniors through technology, Tak helps people utilize appropriate technology in their personal and professional lives.

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Volume 8, Issue 14, Posted 9:43 AM, 07.19.2016