Brian Laufer, chief health officer at the Anchorage VA hospital, recalls a recent case where he showed a patient’s skin lesion to the head of dermatology at the VA in Seattle, a thousand miles away.It could have taken weeks and maybe a plane ride to get a specialist to look at the lesion in person. Instead the specialist asked—over the video link—for an immediate biopsy.“Turned out to be a melanoma. Within three weeks it was fully excised and had surgery here and had a cure because the melanoma was caught very early,” said Laufer.
There’s no reason the benefits of telemedicine have to be confined to rural patients or to vets. Americans of all ages and places could use this technology to personalize care and bring down costs.