The year 2062 maybe 42 years away, but Felixia Colón, Regional Vice President of SCP Health, said some of the technology the Jetsons cartoon predicted are already in practice. Telemedicine may have made its debut in an episode of the Jetsons when Jane Jetson contacts a doctor on a video screen to diagnose her son Elroy, but its no longer an idea of the future, it’s here for real.
Today’s technological advances allow for the utilization of telemedicine in ways the Jetsons only dreamed. Communication between a doctor and an attending nurse can over an iPad? This type of communication now happens and is handy for night admissions. And while Colón said telemedicine is an excellent asset in rural hospital communities, the practice is gaining momentum in larger networks as well. “In one metropolitan hospital, I’ve seen the telemedicine machine used for patient admissions, which saves a lot of time from doctors going back and forth throughout the hospital,” Colón said.
The telemedicine cart can be as simple as the iPad, but Colón mentioned robotic carts that move the cart around the hospital. And in terms of practicality, telemedicine could play a vital role in the initial screening of patients who may be suffering from symptoms of an infectious disease such as COVID-19. “With the Coronavirus, telemedicine can help do the initial screenings without exposing anyone unnecessarily to patients who may test positive for the virus,” Colón said.