Like many, I’m guiding an elderly family member through the complexities of social media, specifically video calling. How easy it was in the past to dismiss the task as non-essential, and how sobering it is that essential and non-essential now dominate our lives. But, with more success than failure, we ride the wave towards screen sharing.
The search for a suitable platform that wasn’t too complicated for my student, reminded me of how innovative tech companies are in moving towards healthcare, to bring together patients and care providers through telehealth. How nervous the rhetoric around our Orwellian fears, and how poignant that we’ve arrived at this point by necessity. It makes absolute sense that where there is not a need to attend an appointment in person, we utilise technology to deliver more efficient advice and care that helps not only the burgeoning capacity gap but fits into patient’s lives better. However, the ability to obtain or adapt to the technology must be considered for those in our society at the greatest risk. If we are to agree a suitable vehicle to get us where we need to get to, we must be sure that the people we need to get there can get on board.
There remains that crucial contact, in person that only our professionals can deliver. Those, that for their own personal reasons dedicated their study years, and for many their social lives to meeting the stringent requirements of their qualification. And lest we forget, those that look after our elderly and those that may be vulnerable, either at home or in residential homes.
My relative and I will be connected soon enough and sharing stories, events and laughter but, as she points out, a little screen misses a lot of feeling, and when that nuance can be an essential part of a diagnoses, we want to be sure to capture it.