You can read about the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary's venture into the brave new world of virtual healthcare in the BBC News article entitled Virtual health care gets UK trial.Here's a taste:
Cutting edge telemedicine technology, that will allow medical staff to offer "virtual" health care, is being trialled at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
HealthPresence, a system developed by Cisco, links up doctors with patients through a video conferencing booth.
Blood pressure, temperature, pulse rate, weight and lung function can be assessed at a distance in the booth if patients can not make appointments.
If the trial is successful, booths may be set up in locations across the UK.
Possible future locations for the mobile health suite could include schools, workplaces, shopping centres and even people's homes.
(picture from BBC news story)
This trial uses kiosks manned by a human attendant; the kiosk can administer simple diagnostic tests, in addition to providing audiovisual teleconferencing. The presence of the human attendant goes a long ways toward allaying my fears about patient data security.
While not exactly a groundbreaking innovative concept, the Aberdeen trial is one of the first uses of rich Internet-based telecommunications media in the mundane world of primary care. I'm excited to see it, especially on behalf of my less well-off rural relatives and friends who currently have limited access to high-quality healthcare.
Now, if we could only get them health insurance coverage... :-)