Measuring Vital Health Indicators Through Your Camera

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Dr. Keith Thompson, CMO at Nuralogix, sat down with me for a deep dive into virtual care, telemedicine, and advanced digital health tools for improving primary care workflows and population health. He also shared his insights into the acceleration of telemedicine towards actual remote care teams and examinations, how to best ensure equitable access to digital health solutions, and the future of virtual care.

Here is a sneak peek of our conversation:

Q: Let’s actually just paint the practical picture of how this actually will work. Here you are, a patient, a person, a consumer of health, who is going to have some sort of interaction with a health care provider or an allied health care provider. How exactly is that interaction going to be facilitated between me and my health care provider how does Neurologix provide that bridge?

A: That’s what excites me because I think one of the struggles that we have in primary care is being able to touch every person, every year, over every possible problem that comes up. It’s not going to work, we realized there’s already way more patients, way more demand than there are providers. In our region in Southwestern Ontario, we have 109,000 patients without primary care. Just think about that, one in five people don’t have access to a primary care physician.

I think part of what’s going to happen as we evolve will be that higher volume, lower physician touch. I think they’re going to see more empowerment of patients. We’re going to have programs that increase health literacy and even digital literacy which we’ll talk about in a second because it’s got to be equitable and there’s got to be access. That’s a whole other topic we could book a session on. The patients now will be able to determine and monitor, think of doing a weekly scan or repeated every couple of months. A scan that says, “You know my risk of diabetes is going up.” or “Oh look at my BMI” or look at my blood pressure, it seems to be up ticking, I better check with my doctor.” One of the challenges of course in doing that, and you’ve already alluded to nicely, is we need physician care. We need to be able to get people to access these devices and simplify the care of their own disease states and chronic disease management but they still need medical backup. They still need some of the hands-on or face-to-face.

What that is going to look like, I’ll be honest, I think that’s the challenge. That’s where we need to crack code because we somehow need to rely less on doctor do-it-all. Every problem I have, my doctor’s point of contact, it’s going to have to maybe look quite a bit different. Whether it’s a layered system with nurse practitioners, or who knows. That is maybe hard, I think, for people to swallow, especially those who like my own practice, for example, my patients, they want to see Dr. Thompson. They’re not going to accept anyone else because of the relationship I’ve had with them for 25 years. I think as we move into the next realm it’s going to be different. These tools really allow us as physicians to pull back a little bit and give patients the ability to monitor or determine their own risk. It also can be that trigger That brings them, “I’ve got a problem, why is my triglyceride high? Why is this reading funny on my skin? What’s going on?” I think that’s how we look at a primary care workflow.

For more of our discussion, you can watch the whole Fireside Chat with Dr. Keith Thompson, or listen to the podcast version, below.

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