I want to discuss an industry (and equipment) that may seem somewhat unfamiliar to you, but makes perfect sense in a “that’s where technology is taking us” view. It’s the telemedicine industry, and it’s definitely changing the way physicians operate (pun not really intended, but unavoidable).
Telemedicine is a broad term for using technology with a communication slant in medicine – in other words, almost any technology aimed at reducing distance in health care is covered by the term. Videoconferencing, Electronic Records (EMR/EHR), etc – these were some of the first real forays into this. But recently we’ve seen some real advancements that are quite exciting – mainly Telemedicine Carts.
Telemedicine Carts are advanced medical stations, complete with cameras and video monitors for instant teleconferencing, that allow a doctor to “be” virtually anywhere. The best part is, these modern Telemedicine carts contain the vital diagnostic equipment he or she needs. We’re talking about stethoscopes, various examination cameras, EKGs, ultrasound probes, and many others.
These tools, along with a practitioner to utilize them, all allow a doctor to see, hear, and examine from miles (or even states) away. It allows specialists to greatly expand their service area. It allows people in rural areas – who may not have a doctor nearby – to visit with a doctor. Via the video screens, doctors can converse face to face with patients, hear symptoms, give instructions, etc. These carts also come with advanced software, recording and communication capabilities, diagnostics, and more. This is all sounding a little Star-Trekkie, right? Well, it is.
Here’s the great part for everyone. Recent changes in insurance reimbursement have made it very appealing for doctors to get involved with telemedicine carts. Doctors are smart people, and the advantages of eliminating miles from one’s practice should be very apparent. Of course, these telemedicine carts are not cheap, which is where financing telemedicine carts comes in.
Fortunately, the equipment financing industry sees the healthcare industry as a strong, stable market, both in a manufacturer sense and an end-user sense. It’s a partnership that should go hand in hand, which is why telemedicine cart financing makes sense for all involved. Offering monthly payments helps manufacturers sell more equipment, and getting this excellent equipment into more doctors’ hands (by making it affordable for them via monthly payments) benefits everyone.
I’m proud of the work I do because it helps both companies and people, but no industry is this more true than the medical industry. So when something like telemedicine cart financing walks through my mind when thinking up blog topics, it makes Fletch smile.