The Resurgence of the House Call Doctor in the 21st Century
In the past, a lot of doctors operated by going house-to-house visiting each of their patients and giving them expert medical check-ups, care and advice. But due to increased specialization, as well as advancements in technology, has allowed doctors to stay put in the hospital and let their patients come to their clinics for consultation. This made sense because a lot of medical equipment was simply too heavy to carry around house-to-house, and specialists didn’t really receive a lot of house calls. This development has also allowed doctors to also contribute to medical research, without the burden of having to travel away from their laboratories.
For a long time after this, house call doctors were very few, and demand for them has also declined. But as this decade is coming to a close, there appears to be an apparent resurgence and demand for house call doctors. Ironically, the reason that house call doctors virtually disappeared before was the same reason for their return – technological advancements, but this time in mobile communication.
Mobile Technology Advancements Have Resurrected the House Call Doctor
Today, almost everyone has a smartphone. Whether if it’s an Android or an Apple device, nearly every person has access to a variety of useful applications and media – all of which could fit in the palms of their hands. Several tech startups have funded and created a slew of different ideas for mobile apps – some blowing up to become a staple app in their phones, like Instagram, whereas some have failed and are forgotten. There’s an app for food delivery, laundry service, ride-hailing and even one for shopping – just name the idea, and chances are, someone’s probably made an app for that already. Businesses have gone ahead and embraced this technology, and with this came a torrent of new jobs that didn’t exist before, such as social media management and mobile customer service.
The medical field is not a slouch either when it came to utilizing mobile technology for making doctor’s and patient’s lives easier. Nowadays, you can do a lot of different things through a mobile app – like ordering medicine, setting up a doctor’s appointment or just checking the traffic situation – that has made getting proper health care a much easier task than before.
One of the results of this is the resurgence of house call doctors. There are so many doctors today and very few hospitals that a lot of new doctors find other ways to practice their profession, like private practice or by medical research. Because of this, some doctors thought, why not make an app that could set up a doctor’s consultation right in the patient’s house? And thus, the profession’s rebirth.
Through a mobile app like the one provided by Speedoc.com, patients can now request for a doctor’s appointment immediately, where the doctor visits the patient in his/her home, instead of the patient having to go to the doctor’s clinic. Some apps assign doctors based on location, whereas others allow patients to choose a specific doctor or specialization. Today, most house call doctors are general practitioners, but specialists are also in demand in these apps.
Singapore has Embraced the Idea of a House Call Doctor
Singapore has always been a nation that embraced evolving technology. From the high-tech public transportation system to the utilization of artificial intelligence to optimize services, the Singaporean government and private sector are purveyors of advanced science and technology. Singaporeans are very tech-savvy as well – almost everyone here knows how to send money or call a cab using just their smartphones.
This is true as well when it comes to the health care system. The usual way of acquiring health care is by going to either a public or private hospital and then setting up a consultation with a doctor. There are quite a few hiccups in this approach, however. For one, your appointment with the doctor may not be immediate, with some patients having to wait for more than a month before they get a consultation. Another problem is when it comes to the waiting time. If you’re going to a public hospital, you may have to endure the long lines before the doctor can talk with you. Even when visiting a doctor in private practice, patients still must set up later appointments, especially with renowned medical professionals.
House call doctor apps solve these problems by giving the patient the convenience of setting up the appointment without having to leave their homes. These doctors have also become a blessing for the elderly and persons with disabilities (PWD), who no longer have to rely on a family member or friend to accompany them to a hospital. Now, with just a simple click, they can get personalized, expert medical service in the comfort of their homes.
Here in Singapore, the number of hospital doctors still dwarfs the population of house call doctors, but who knows? Maybe in the near future, more and more new doctors will practice their profession and provide medical services through a smartphone.