I’m at the Cloud Computing World Forum in London where former Apple CEO John Sculley has been speaking about healthcare in the cloud. Sculley is involved with a US company called MDLive which lets you make a virtual appointment with a doctor rather than turning up at your local surgery, sitting in the waiting room for an hour, and then getting 7 minutes consultation.
Sculley says this puts together several strands:
- Most visits to the doctor are unnecessary
- In person visits are more expensive and there is always pressure to reduce costs
- Sensor technology is in its infancy but promises much – we already have Fitbit and the like, which monitors exercise, but in future your mobile may alert you to an impending heart attack or perform other automated monitoring of your health, and upload data to an internet service.
I asked Sculley if there had been studies of accuracy of diagnosis from an in-person versus an online appointment. The online ones are actually more accurate, he claims, because they make better use of available data.
Sculley calls online doctor surgeries an example of “Domain Expertise as a Service”, the implication being that the same kind of logic will apply to other kinds of consultation, not just healthcare.