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Part 5 Why Telemedicine is Changing The Healthcare Landscape
PART 5 A SEVEN PART SERIES ON HOW HEALTHCARE IS TRENDING.
AND, IT’S RIGHT IN THE PALM OF YOUR HANDS.
Why Telemedicine is changing the healthcare
landscape and redefining the meaning of a
Doctor’s “Office” visit.
By Steve Okhravi, MD, MBA, CPE
What is success in a simplified
So, I have presented a few ideas around behavior, adaptation, and technology intersecting
or comingling with the healthcare consult. We can see that resistance, predetermined
patterns and a properly launched solution could have the potential for a better for patient
experience as it applies streamlining access to the healthcare professional; and facilitating
the conversation to everyday symptoms. Identifying and outlining context and
circumventing previous barriers is one part; yet delivering a solution is another.
Let’s articulate the main idea of defining success for a community-oriented, democratized
healthcare solution that’s managed remotely and patient initiated:
There are two entities in the new order
of the everyday consult:
Media and Communities.
Media thrives on content or “the Story”
Communities are built for Humans.
The first entity: Media
There is a fundamental premise about modern healthcare. Its value is rooted in improving
the quality of life we live. That context around healthcare provisions is strengthened by:
1) The consult experience; and
2) Understanding the effect of the experience: “feeling better than you did when you
entered into the consult.” The “understanding” part results in a placebo effect. I.e., The
more you know (and understand), the better you feel.
The best Physicians (including their staff and partners) are connectors, not just
benevolent individuals that “apply band-aids.” They’re connecting people around the
story of wellness and the feelings around compassionate care. This is the magic of an
efficacious consult and what medicine does when it operates at its best: they connect
people around illustrative conversations (patient education) that lead to an improved
sense of wellness.
So, it’s no surprise that Telemedicine is a functional vehicle for wellness.
The conversation, the story, the human exchange is facilitated and access, is enabled by
the media (delivery mechanism). Time and space is of no consequence.
The media (The App, the platform)
enables accessible patient education that
adds meaningful value to the
quality of life experience.
We consume healthcare based on three factors:
1. We have a need (wellness or lack there of) and respect the physician’s skills.
That is, they have the information and knowhow to make a difference.
2. Something triggers our predisposition towards them. We become aware of their
story, their relevance to our needs.
3. They provide us with an opportunity to engage them. Before it was the “Office
Visit” consult. In this context, it is the immediacy of a Smartphone and App
initiation made consumable by new media communications.
This is how the mobile communications industry was founded and made pervasive—by
providing “one-on-one” conveniences Direct-To-Consumer.
In short, the business value of any mass consumed activity, such as healthcare, is mainly
based on referrals that are presently “socialized” by the Media awareness potential of the
So, to get this message, this story to you, we don’t sell technology, or healthcare--you
already know the value provided there--we sell the story around the end benefit of the
solution. Healthcare sells healthcare through referrals and easy access. Added benefits
like patient activated consults are icing on the cake.
So, all things considered, you might be inclined to say: “this whole Telemedicine thing,
which I thought was for someone else, may just as well benefit me, too.”
It’s logical, rational, practical, easily-consumed, potentially a God-send regarding my
quality of life and easy to understand.
Media solutions have changed my life at rapid fire pace over the past 15 years. But I was
able to keep up with it, despite the change that came with it. The economic value of these
changes has also been obvious along with the instantaneous benefits gained by new
media. So, this media machine has embraced the social impact of change resistance and
provided me with reasons to get on board:
1. People connect and communicate because of the conversations that have been
enabled by media and technology, and
2. The more people that connect because of media enablement, the more valuable
the conversation becomes, triggering network effects. One world really is enough
for all of us once we align and streamline our interests via collaborative
Once media has been built upon the conversations around the “greater good”, it cannot
be detached. (Is Facebook or Twitter going anywhere? Not soon, I suspect.)
New media tools are a meaningful compliment to our lifestyles and cannot exist
without the great content, self-actuated conversations and accessibility they are built
Needless to say, this story needs to be communicated properly to the people that would
It would not be an exaggeration if I classified “Communication” as a separate Medium
unto itself. However, stories never communicated (or, that don’t endure the course of
time) maybe serve little practical purpose. That’s why Media and Communication are
inextricably connected—and one could say that Communication is a sub-medium
contained in Media. There are only two types of content of value available online:
conversations, and the things about which the conversation takes place.
Media Tools proliferate, however the construct remains incomplete unless you pair that
with the second entity necessary to build movements.
Yes, physicians are connectors: they connect patients with resources, knowledge, the
dialog around wellness and the ways and means to raise quality of life thru medical
practices to treat (or help prevent) ailments. Media can and does help propagate that
conversation through networks. That network helps large groups of humans through
Or, in the new media vernacular: It’s all about (online) Communities and a platform to
facilitate “the greater good” of shared intelligence.
Physicians attract people around a path to an improved, empathic quality of life. They
provoke patient’s respect and gratitude when the consult experience achieves its goals.
This, in turn, yields good will and awakens sentiments of gratitude. This phenomenon has
a multiplier effect when the patients have gathered in a shared utility (physical facility,
community, App, platform, etc.) to enjoy the experience in a larger context.
Whether it’s eight people, eighty people, 800 people or eight million people, the aura
grows with replication of the positive experience. It’s the vibration and exchange of
energy with people tuned into the same frequency. An online community can do that
likely faster that any single construct in the physical world. This positivity defines the
viral nature of communications online. Connect once--in a productive and life affirming,
remarkable manner--and watch the experience repeat itself to grow exponentially. There
are documented reports of YouTube content, attaining seemingly “overnight” sensations
that move millions to act in unison. And, the conversation grows on its own strength.
The power of positive outcomes lies
in the activation of powerful
The more people exposed to streamlined,
self-empowering solutions, the more
valuable it becomes.
Community effects yield widespread benefits that are part of the Media driven
process; exploiting the power of connections and connectivity in a new media
The most high‐valued tech companies in the world take on iconic proportions.
This appeal of these ideas changes procedures and processes for how we do things.
In the information era, we call them platforms. The Apple iOS is, obviously, a platform
that has shaken the rafters of the computing industry: But, not simply, by Apple
Computer per se. Let’s look at a tidal wave offshoot of this intelligence: iTunes is a
platform. And, it changed the music industry, for all, forever.
Facebook is a platform. It changes how we, inform, stay in touch and “share” with family
and friends. We mentioned YouTube earlier. Twitter, Uber and AirBnB are platforms that
evoked societal change. And, these platforms happily and handily circumvented our die-
hard resistance to change for our own good.
Let’s look at the common links in these platforms?
1. Selfactuated vehicles for sharing intelligence:
These tools don’t create their content on any “large scale.” However, they do
connect the content creators with the content consumers. They facilitate both
parties to keep doing so and make the information of the platform easy to find.
2. Business is streamlined, transacted, and real time needs are fulfilled on
YouTube has a shared ad revenue system.
Facebook enables you to earn income, via a store and as a result of building an
AirBnB lets you rent your room.
Apple’s AppStore (or any marketplace) allows you to innovate to create previously
unavailable games and tools; to fill humanneed gaps.
(It looks like that is where DocChat gets its lofty goals from.)
3. More common than ever, the platform will give away one product or service in
order to attract one audience and ultimately earn revenue. Free in platforms
is not a bad thing—it’s a prerequisite and provides a path to profitable activity
around societal solutions.
By doing so, platforms build their business model upon other people’s needs, activities
and desire for transactional exchanges. Empowering entrepreneurs, consumers...some of
which didn’t even start out with a profit motive but simply an idea for doing something
better, more streamlined, more efficiently.
To simplify, the masses use a platform, interaction soars, value is an opportunistic result
because you touch large groups of people, positively. The platform profits everyone it
touches if it starts out with a human premise to benefit improved quality of life!
Networking effects in action is not a new concept by any stretch.
Networking in new media with better ways to fill a gap in human needs for large groups
of people, across cities, states and nations simply adds a multiplier effect that is
So, onto DocChat.
In a real world scenario, platforms beat products every time. It’s based on an economy of
scale, self-determination and empowerment.
As I said earlier, the Bricks and Mortar office visit has an undeniable place in modern
medicine for certain indications. It is, however, somewhat of “transactional product”
when it comes to common, low-grade ailments, and everyday instances of not feeling
well. It’s also bound by the location and hours/schedules of the local practice.
Let’s look at the ultimate Branded Platform:
Apple = Apps opened the door for game developers to create app games thus connecting
them to a global audience through the AppStore.
Apple = iPhone devices: Winning big; positioning them as being way ahead of the pack.
Apple = itunes: Changing the music industry in one fell swoop.
(Remember…they started out as computer/operating system makers of the computer
designed for the “rest of us.” It’s no wonder Apple stood with this mass appeal strategy
as a mission statement for unmitigated success.)
Now it’s high time that the approach to healthcare solutions democratizes itself:
The Wellness Conversation can be a platform upon which…
1) A serious business can be built;
2) People can connect in bold new ways around the corner, around the country, around
3) It is activated in real time, real fast with rewarding experiences in each session; and
4) Done so, at “popular, contained price point” that has real mass appeal.
If we learn of a streamlined conversation that improves our quality of life, gives us the
power to initiate that discussion any place and anytime at a reasonable cost, like
DocChat, wouldn’t joining the platform be a “no-brainer”?
These concepts are undeniably attractive. They are compelling and exciting to me as a
long time healthcare professional that has paid his dues, learnt some solid lessons and at
the ready to apply them to a fun venture that does real good for the patients I so value. In
fact, launching DocChat is a labor of love of medicine, people and good practice as
opposed to a profit motive.
That said, this premise also makes good business sense on all accounts…
for patients, for payers, for practitioners, and for partners.
There is a simple reason for my confidence in this endeavor:
Building success stories and building communities is at the heart of this initiative.
That’s why I believe the DocChat Platform is purely positioned for success…
(Cont’d on Part 6)
Dr. Okhravi's deep credentials have made him the perfect candidate for creating and leading Emergency Medical Care
facilities in NYC. This novel Urgent Care facility is dedicated to the NYC communities that EMC serves. In his
professional CV you'll find an uncanny blend of healthcare practice, process and work flow savvy, along with
exceptional hospital, ER and business management skills. This convergence of skills formed EMCs best practices and
stand-alone ER healthcare knowledge based on practical, progressive, efficient, and compassionate urgent care