This New Doctor App Is Gonna Disrupt Your Medical Care So Hard
Now, we’re not defending the current American healthcare system, because nightmare, but we’re not sure that it will be solved by Grand Rounds, an app that you wave around at the ER doctors, demanding that they listen to the person FaceTiming in to meddle in your medical emergency, but that is probably because we just can’t handle the level of cool synergized disruption that such an app would bring us.
Truly, we can’t think of anything at all that could go wrong with this scenario.
Grand Rounds, which delivers medical second opinions through its website and apps, will unveil a new service on Thursday offering quick case reviews during medical emergencies. When a patient is wheeled in with chest pains or injuries from a car accident, they or their family can use Grand Rounds STAT to have a top doctor review the file, X-rays and medical history before the local team goes ahead with an invasive procedure.
“Within a short amount of time, usually less than an hour, you’ll have on the phone a world-class expert to connect in real time and consult with the doctor in the emergency room or ICU,” said Owen Tripp, the company’s co-founder and chief executive.
So instead of having the person who is actually there with you in the ER as you are bleeding out or stroking out or ODing, you will hang about while someone in Borneo or Idaho or whatever reviews your file and then that person can yell at the local doctor and … what, exactly? Overrule the ER doc? That doesn’t seem like something that will go well or is even permissible under a hospital’s insurance/malpractice policy: “Sure, doctor in far-flung place without admitting procedures at this hospital who is not licensed in this state, we defer to your wisdom, because why not?” Who is on the hook if your condition worsens or you expire in the time that your family is demanding that the ER set up a Skype session with a different doctor and the wi-fi in the ER keeps flaking out??
You won’t be surprised to learn that the main market for this little piece of genius is companies that want to spend less on employee healthcare.
Grand Rounds markets the system to employers — particularly self-insured ones that cover employee medical costs directly — on the bet that they’ll save the companies’ money. In fact, they bet they’ll save them a lot of money by avoiding unnecessary procedures or more rapidly arriving at the correct treatment plan.
Twenty-five enterprise companies use the product today and Grand Rounds experts recommend major changes in diagnoses or treatments about 65 percent about the time, Tripp said. “That means that the majority of cases we’re looking at are getting care that is less than exemplary,” he said. “If that doesn’t terrify you, I don’t know what does.”
Hmmm. Or it could just mean that your Grand Rounds Doctor People are wrong, or that because their bread and butter depends on companies liking them and seeing them as a source of cost savings there might be the teeniest tiniest little incentive to always recommend less invasive or less expensive procedures. We’re just spitballing here.
We’re not placing all the blame on companies here, either. You know there will be the serial hypochondriac that totes this thing to the ER and waves it around hysterically at the poor ER nurse because the Grand Rounds doctor has totally said that the funny rash on her arm might indeed be symptoms of a deadly infection rather than poison ivy.
Man, living in the future is so awesome.