This blog was originally posted on the Huffington Post
We are now witnessing children’s health care expanding across the nation with advancements in video-based networking and collaborative technologies. A virtual visit by a renowned pediatric specialist at your local clinic is now becoming a reality in a growing number of communities.
As one in five children in the U.S. seek specialist medical care this year, ready availability of pediatric sub-specialists is critical for our children’s health and healthy communities. These specialists are in short supply, however, and tend to be clustered in the major metropolitan cities. Wait times for initial appointments can range from three to nine months. According to Time Magazine, 15 million children live in rural enclaves where the ratio of pediatricians and family physicians is 22 for every 100,000 kids. That’s a patient load of more than 4,500 children per doctor. Outside the U.S., those numbers drastically increase.
Today, telehealth pilot programs with a video interface from a medical specialty facility to a local clinic are vastly improving access to pediatric specialty care. With no travel to the big city to see a specialist and no associated travel costs, families reduce time lost at work and school to receive care for their children.