By Moshe Lewis, M.D. and Anthony Mora 

Telemedicine and videoconferencing via smartphones is rapidly changing the face of medicine. Now you can virtually see a doctor in real-time regarding medical questions. Not only does this save travel time, gas expense, parking and co-pays patients can schedule an appointment time for their convenience that is faster and more efficient. In many cities the cost of the co-pay alone will cover a telemedicine consultation.

As with all things good, there are common misconceptions to be wary of. Telemedicine is still in its infant stages. Providers are limited in their ability to provide notes off of work, controlled medications, monitoring for infants and pregnancy and the ability to diagnose cancer, complex diagnoses and subtle symptoms of what may be underlying anxiety.

However, the field is poised for rapid growth and consumers can expect digital monitoring for cardiac parameters, lab evaluation and diagnostic imaging soon to be part of the data a telemedicine physician has at their fingertips.

If you do offer telemedicine and videoconferencing in your practice, consider utilizing it in your marketing or PR outreach.  Since this is still a relatively new phenomenon in the medical world, both the media and the public are curious as to how it works, its best uses and what conditions it can benefit.  These are new medical approaches and the public is interested in the overall pros and cons of these types of patient doctor interactions. 

Consider positioning yourself as a physician who can explain the process.  You can be one who educates and informs the public and can establish yourself as a go to expert in the field.  Consider developing a media pitch or a press release that outlines the questions you can address. 

If you offer a visual aspect to the story (say one where a TV crew can shoot this type of interaction in process) you can offer a compelling TV segment.  This approach offers a segment that is educational and informative.  It also establishes you as an expert in your field ad garners media coverage for you and your practice.

The worlds of medicine and communication are rapidly changing.  Whereas it’s important to keep up with these changes for your practice and your patients, also remember that once you’re comfortable and have implemented these changes in your practice you are in a position to present yourself as an expert who can answer questions and walk the media through the process.  In this way, you simultaneously build your brand while educating and informing the public.

Copyright © Savvy Healthcare PR Firm / Anthony Mora 2017