Live stream video is everywhere. What used to be a unique form of communication for traditional and online media professionals has now become commonplace for any of us to use. One click and you can broadcast live to anyone in the world. But would you live stream your doctor’s appointment?
I recently visited a highly regarded specialist in our area. The appointment took months to secure and I was eager to visit with her to learn more about the situation I’m dealing with and how we can tackle it. Nothing life threatening, but an ongoing condition that needs attention. As is the case with most medical practices, I was asked to set up a patient profile on their practice portal for future communication. I also anticipated both the nurse and doctor to use a laptop for appointment intake.
This was not the case.
Prior to the doctor arriving, the nurse informed me that she prefers to use a technology called Google Glass in special Google Goggles. In conjunction with a company called Augmedix, a growing number of medical professionals nationwide are using what basically looks like a modern kind of glasses or goggles. The doctor wears this device on her head to live stream your visit to a transcriptionist. The transcriptionist is not on staff with the medical practice and not a medical professional. This is a trained employee of Augmedix, based in either California or India, using secure technology. And that person is viewing and recording your entire visit. Should the doctor choose, this can also include any portion of your visit where you may be in undergarments or unclothed.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME???
The premise behind this technology is entirely doctor focused with the promoted outcome of better patient focused care. The transcriptionist takes all the notes the doctor would have previously taken, either by hand or digitally, thus enabling her to concentrate on the patient instead of the notes. At the end of each visit, the doctor reviews the notes prior to moving onto the next patient just to be certain all the details were recorded correctly. Augmedix reports that the service is enabling doctors to cut down on paperwork by as much as 15 hours per week, enabling them to practice more efficient and patient focused care while gaining more time in their own lives for work/life balance.
I’m all in for work/life balance. In fact I have gone to the mat and recently refused a professional opportunity for that very reason. My family comes first now and forever. So of course I want my doctors to be as healthy and well balanced as they can be. I don’t want them to be stressed or tired because frankly, that’s a risk to my own health too.
But let’s be clear. There is no way in the world I’m allowing my medical visit to be live streamed. I get that the medical community is completely over burdened and my organized mind understands how frustrating the mountains of paperwork must be. That’s a bigger fish to fry than my tool kit can solve. But there has to be a point where consumers say enough to live video. And when you are a patient, you are a consumer paying for a service that just happens to be related to your health. Which means you have the right to ask for a 2nd opinion and for the love of God say no to your appointment being live streamed to a non medical professional merely for the purpose of efficient note taking.
For the record, I said no. I told the nurse that no part of my visit was to be shared via live steam. When she arrived, laptop in hand, the doctor attempted to convince me that this is the future of medicine, the connection is secure, zero risk for privacy breach, and that it was truly burdensome to have to complete the visit using her laptop given the recent changes in government healthcare reporting. I let her know that thanks to my work in online media, I am well versed in technology and that I respectfully declined any use of live technology for my appointment that day or in the future. I very kindly thanked her for respecting my privacy rights. As she continued to mention the difficulty in recording my appointment intake on her laptop, I even offered to see a different specialist in the practice if my appointment was too much of a challenge for her. She proceeded with the rest of our visit a bit more graciously after that. I’m guessing that as a specialist, she hasn’t often been told no.
Truth be told, I’ll be the first to admit I’m not an early adapter. I’ve been a fan of paper planning my entire career. And that’s okay. While digital planning has been a solution for some Moms, it definitely hasn’t been the widespread answer for all as evidenced by the wonderful return of gorgeous, colorful, artistic paper planners in mass market. Which is the best example I have that digital isn’t always better. And when it comes to my medical privacy and Google Goggles live streaming my appointment, this is definitely the case. Tell me…
Have you ever encountered the use of Google Goggles in a medical visit?
Did you approve their use and if so, why?
Thanks so much for stopping by ~ see you next time!