The Doctor Will VSee You Now

In a recent paper in the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, A randomized trial of virtual visits in a general medicine practice, Boston internists Ronald Dixon and James Stahl had patients see a doctor in person and via video link. While the patients prefered the in-person appointment, their satisfaction still fell within the very good to excellent range. More importantly, despite the absence of a hands-on examination, the diagnoses and treatments were the same in either case.

In the experiment, the patients still had to come to the office for the video consultation. One can imagine the video appointment might be more attractive if the alternative was a long drive, airplane flight, or hike.