The use of robots to eliminate delays in getting evaluation by specialists offers a variety of benefits. First, it allows manning hospitals by using fewer specialty physicians, but more importantly, it provides quicker response times for treatments that are time-sensitive like acute throbolytics (clotter busters) in stroke patients.
I’m not sure how patients feel about this, but from a doctor’s perspective, it offers a great deal of potential. In our office, this summer, we will try some remote visits during my absence on vacation, using the Apple iChat program. It will be interesting to see the usefulness of this approach. It may be a bust….but we’ll try it and see.