Telemedicine equals Video Medicine? Federation of State Medical Boards thinks so.

May 3, 2014

Representatives of state medical licensing boards approved recently updated guidelines to help ensure the safety and quality of medicine when it is practiced using telemedicine technology – which can connect a patient in one location with a care provider in another location.

Telemedicine Guidelines FSMB

The guidelines state that “…the same standards of care that have historically protected patients during in-person medical encounters must apply to medical care delivered electronically”. In other words, they would like to remain historical and do not want to reap the benefits of the modern technology. The statement seems very harmless, but the opposite is true!

Though the guidelines seem to be insisting on “video” as an essential element for telemedicine, the underlying tone seems to be “resistance to change” and maintain the “status quo” as long as possible. Though video technology is maturing and becoming less pricey day by day and is bound to become main stream in a few years, insisting on video as a critical element is not good for the speedy adoption of telemedicine. This reminds us the behavior of the film and music industry which refuses to embrace digital technology wholeheartedly – even today.

From an external viewpoint, it conveys the message that federation (which represents physicians via state boards) does not want to change with the times. They want to put as many hurdles as possible in the technology adoption.

No wonder the health care system is broken in the country and continues to deteriorate is spite of the government’s efforts to turn it around. Keep in mind these are guidelines and not mandated regulations, but it shows the intent behind the thought process.

The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) is a national non-profit organization representing the 70 medical and osteopathic boards of the United States and its territories. The FSMB leads by promoting excellence in medical practice, licensure, and regulation as the national resource and voice on behalf of state medical and osteopathic boards in their protection of the public.

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