My Response To Article: What Telemedicine, Blockbuster, and Netflix Have In Common. 

Earlier this week one of my friends Jamey Edwards (@jameyedwards) shared the following article with me entitled: What Telemedicine, Blockbuster, and Netflix Have In Common. 

It was an interesting article on the topic and role of telemedicine in healthcare. 

However, it made me think of the title and a key insight in the opening paragraph: 

“…all your information available on one digital platform is the new norm, and it’s no wonder healthcare is moving in the same direction.”

Yet the article never addresses this fundamental shift, let alone how telemedicine is going to enable, fit, or accelerate a patients ability to have all of their medical records available on a single digital platform. 

I do enjoy traveling all over the world and as long as I have an internet connection and a device I can watch Netflix. It has my watching habits, where I left off in a series or movie, and recommends a new movie or series. 

However I am not sure I see the correlation to telemedicine. At least not today. 

There is no single telemedicine company that harbors, collects, or shares all of my medical records. Let alone a healthcare system or hospital, or EMR, that does that for me as a patient. 

For the 5% of the information that healthcare collects on me specific to my medical care, they make it a Mission Impossible challenge for me and/or my healthcare team to access, correct, and share. 

Again, I am not seeing how telemedicine’s ability to connect a patient and a physician for a low level visit enables the consolidation of all my records on a single platform? 

Do I like the fact that telemedicine can allow me to sit at home, or in the airport, or at work, or anywhere in the world and connect with a physician to assess my cold, ache, pains and other symptoms? 


Do I like that I carry a connection machine in my pocket? 


Do I like that it costs less? 


Do I like that it is convenient and on demand? 


Do I like that it creates yet another place for my medical information to be digitized, kept, locked, harbored, and kept for ransom? 

Hell no. 

Maybe the argument was that telemedicine’s future is more akin to Blockbuster than it is to Netflix? 

Hopefully not.  

Physicians want to provide the best possible care. Patients want to receive the best care available. 

In order to enable the above for physicians and patients the answer isn’t telemedicine, it’s something else. EMR, HIE, cell phones, something. 

Interoperability, sharing, connection. 

The future of healthcare demands it. Patients demand it. Physicians demand it. 

Future of healthcare needs to be delivered to patients at the N of 1. 


4 responses to “My Response To Article: What Telemedicine, Blockbuster, and Netflix Have In Common. 

  1. Love the thought process Andy! Happy to report that Cloudbreak is unifying your care team on one platform and that we further are going to be tackling your health record to make it portable so you own your data! Might take us a bit but we look forward to helping crack this code as you are spot on!

  2. Excellent analysis.

  3. EMR, HIE, cell phones, telemedicine…these are all pieces to the bigger puzzle of digitizing health. While telemedicine may not directly address health record accessibility, it certainly is involved in being a part of the solution. As you mentioned no one is really interested in having your telemed visit end up in another health data silo, especially as we move to value-based care.

    Many ppl are convinced that with it’s just a matter of time before all you healthcare data will be available online to anyone. FHIR and projects like the Argonaut Project are dedicated to making it possible to allow different platforms to exchange health data.

    Btw, if you want to discuss this more, would love for you to join us at the Telehealth Failures & Secrets To Success conference next week:

  4. Pingback: What Do Telemedicine, Blockbuster, and Netflix Have In Common?— Randy Parker, MDLIVE [TFSS Talks]

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