We face ongoing changes in Medicine today which will alter our future practice patterns. We all recognize the need for better communication with patients. If the full impact of ObamaCare is realized, this may be more of a challenge as 47 million Americans will enter the pool of insured with access to medical care. Also, statistics show 10,000 Americans are retiring each day. When coupled with a potential shortage of 100,000 doctors by 2020, we realize there will be significant challenges to meeting the future healthcare needs of our citizens.
One hopeful prospect for dealing with the changes in demand and demographics of the future is the cellphone. It is estimated that 55% of World citizenry have cellphones now, and by 2018 there will be a cellphone for every person on the planet. In the United States over 80% of the population has cellphones. We are entering an era when patients will become more involved in their own medical care and participate with their physician in this care. Aside from having access to the medical records, cellphone applications are becoming more available for disease management. Patients are already participating in chat rooms with people with similar diseases to discuss their treatment options. Patients with multiple sclerosis, for example, interact in chat rooms to discuss response to therapy and new therapy.
Via Joel Selzer