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Intouchers Venture Into the Heart of Austin for SXSW 2014

Angela Tenuta

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Much like a huge college campus, SXSW Interactive is teeming with open brains.  Techies of all ages, shapes and sizes jump shuttles, hail pedi-cabs, stand in line for food from trucks, and type madly on myriad devices while squatting on any available floor space.  As one would expect, Intouch had a strong showing at SXSW Interactive 2014, held March 7-10, with seven Intouchers on the ground in Austin. And – of course – they’re looking to share their insights with you. We’ll be posting a series of short blog posts capturing what the Intouch contingent saw, what they thought and the “what now,” according to notable session they attended. Below is our first installment.

I saw: Tech is finally disrupting Health Care. The presenter (Pat Basu) asked a provocative question, how have doctors figured out how to transplant nearly every one of your critical organs, yet nothing has changed in the office experience over the last 30 years.

I thought: Great question! I hate nearly everything about going to the doctor. I hate calling the office for an appointment. I hate waiting forever in the petri dish they call a “waiting room”. I hate giving them my insurance card and filling out the stupid paper on the clipboard. I get annoyed when I have to list my allergies. I get sad when I have to check the “family history of cancer” box.  Then it gets really offensive, they call me into an ugly hallway and weigh me on a scale.
 
I like my doctor, that’s why I go, he knows me, he knows my family.  When my doctor finally enters the room, he opens his laptop, looks me in the eye.  He asks me 3 questions about my health, 2 questions about my family, types some stuff, writes me a prescription, explains how to take it, and leaves.  And after every single trip, driving home I think . . . there must be a better way to do this.
 
Great stat from Dr. Basu: 94% of patient visits are resolved without immediate follow-up, meaning it’s normal stuff. Flu, sinus infection, migraine, acne, urinary tract infection.  Doctors don’t really need to touch you to diagnose these things.
 
How tech can help . . . why not a virtul doctor? Video connect with one anytime, anywhere. Upload photos, document your symptoms. There’s an app for that already ($40 for a 15 minute convo).  But there is more to come: wearables will eventually track everything (blood pressure, heart beat, stress levels in our sweat, and on and on).
 
Maybe a smart watch, a wearable computing pilates shirt, and a virtual doctor can rescue me from this office silliness.

What next for me: Downloaded the “app for that” (Doctors on Demand), will use it to have a chat about my persistent cough.

What next for marketing: Can we leverage the virtual visit to track patient adherence or response to medications? Injection support? Disease awareness webcasts? A whole new world of possibilities.

 

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