I just did my first telemedicine video visit. The concept seems so strange, the idea of carrying out an "office visit" without the patient actually being in the office. Right now we have it structured so that when a patient calls up requesting to see me on a day when I am already fully booked (or, as is usually the case, overbooked), ...

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I want to share some thoughts about artificial intelligence, or as I prefer to call it “data analytics.” Fundamentally: How can we capture the capability of analytics to improve the care and outcomes of cancer patients? And more importantly: How can we harness this technology to help bring back the human touch in cancer care? Admittedly that’s a large focus covering lots of opportunities. Speak to one expert, and you will ...

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Amazon has opened a new health care frontier: Now Alexa can be used to transmit patient data. Using this new feature — which Amazon labeled as a “skill” — a company named Livongo will allow diabetes patients — which it calls “members” — to use the device to “query their last blood sugar reading, blood sugar measurement trends, and receive insights and Health Nudges that are personalized to ...

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Raise your glasses (of juice, water, champagne, or whatever you fancy) and join me in celebrating a dream come true: I'm officially a physician who practices medicine from home. To think that it was only four years ago that I was burnt out. It took having that eye-opening experience to take myself off the grid and begin practicing medicine on my own terms. I left nephrology to practice as a ...

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During a recent walk at Crystal Cove, a splendid California State Park with miles of pristine coastline, I encountered two young women sitting on a bench with a magnificent view of the ocean.  Yet their only view of interest was their cell phone screens.  One of them lifted her head long enough to say, “Your dog is cute,” then returned to the rapture of her device.  I thanked her and ...

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As a physician trying to keep up with all the new information about artificial intelligence, I want to know how machine learning and deep learning are impacting medicine now and to separate the hype from reality. Here's a look at some ways AI is being used successfully in health care and some ways it is not. AI has been validated for use in interpreting medical scans, pathology slides, and reading electrocardiograms. ...

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In many countries around the world, women giving birth still face substantial risks to their own lives and that of their baby. Women travel for days to reach facilities that are understaffed, unsafe, and unequipped to provide life-saving surgical care. They are pushed into financial catastrophe as a result of paying for surgical care, if they are able to afford it all, and they return home with little support in ...

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As we go through our careers, we are given the responsibility of educating the next generation of students and residents to become proficient and competent in medicine. In telehealth, which also requires training my colleagues, is it necessary? If so, what should be part of it? Part of the equivocation with this question of creating telehealth education is at the core of the practice: since I strongly stress that telehealth ...

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Telemedicine has been available now for a number of years. Despite being widely accessible, it still struggles to maintain a foothold in the minds of many traditional practitioners. There are many reasons for this, including gaps in knowledge related to billing and reimbursement for virtual visits, as well as varying levels of coverage by insurance providers. This is particularly cumbersome when it comes to Medicare patients, although there is hope ...

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When I was a child, I knew I would become a doctor. I liked science and taking care of people. We diagnose medical problems and prescribe treatment plans. Some of us perform surgeries and some focus on keeping you well. Despite this, I’m nothing special, and neither are you, my physician colleagues. Let me explain why by first taking a brief step back into the history of American health care. Since ...

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