Kaiser has launched a trial of the "HealthSpot" - a portable booth in which you can interact with a physician and complete some basic examinations that can speed up the complicated, time-consuming process of getting seen by doctors.
By introducing self-examination kiosks where doctors can connect virtually with prospective patients, Kaiser is hoping to introduce timeliness to patients being "seen."
With wait times expanding, and work schedules tightening, that ever-important first-look visit with a doctor is turning into a burden on both sides of the healthcare spectrum. Kaiser Permanente is hoping to alleviate some of that stress with its new HealthSpot, where patients can perform some cursory examinations and doctors can provide a streamlined service to enable patients to move to prescriptions, or swiftly into in-person appointments.
There are obvious pros and cons to this scenario, where the distance between the patient and doctor might hide some condition from becoming known - but for some less life-or-death decisions, and the potential of preliminary x-rays, etc, the convenience of a HealthSpot might just make the difference between being seen and remaining invisible.
Pilot programs of this technology have thus far been introduced to Kaiser San Diego, the Cleveland Clinic, the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and Miami Children’s Hospital. And Kaiser's plan is to have 10,000 pods in operation (primarily in pharmacies) within five years.