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Compromised Connection: Lessons from a Year of Telemedicine

Compromised Connection: Lessons from a Year of Telemedicine

Let’s face it: Telemedicine isn’t there yet. I’ve been treating patients for nearly a year by remote care and so far I’m underwhelmed. And my patients have voted with their feet — most still want to see me in person. I suspect they’re not happy with the compromised connection that telemedicine delivers.

So I want to unpack some of my ideas on telemedicine. Specifically, how can marginal early experiences can give way to something better?

Let’s start with something that I really believe: Human connection is person-to-person. Whenever human connection is mediated by technology it interferes with how we’ve evolved to be together. From the subtleties of body language to the way a mother and baby interact, so much gets lost through the fuzzy screen. So between a face-to-face visit and a video encounter, the IRL connection always gives me more as a doctor. It just does.

But as we’ll see, there’s nothing wrong with a compromised connection in many cases.


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