The rise of telemedicine

December 6, 2013

BY INGRID CASE

 

A tourist couple take a photo in an iconic red telephone box in Parliament Square as snow falls in London, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) A tourist couple take a photo in an iconic red telephone box in Parliament Square as snow falls in London, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

 

Tim Bright’s work as a well-site geologist for Denver-based Columbine Logging Inc. takes him from his home in Las Vegas to jobs all over the Rocky Mountain region. One Saturday in early November, Bright was preparing to go to an undeveloped job site in northern Nevada, where he would spend three weeks away from civilization.

 

Then he realized he didn’t feel well.

 

“My throat was sore and my lymph nodes hurt,” he says. “As time went on, I felt worse.”

 

Going to his doctor would have meant not working on Monday—if he could get a Monday appointment—and when Bright isn’t working, he doesn’t get paid.

 

Going to the doctor from his job site wasn’t a great choice, either.

 

“We live and work at the well site, working for a couple of weeks at a time, then taking a week off,” Bright says. “You’d either have to go to the doctor when it’s not your 12-hour shift, or call the boss to send in someone else to come take your shift. The boss is in Denver. I’m in the wilds of Nevada. Calling to get relief for just one day would not go over too well."

 

So Bright used his employer’s new telemedicine benefit.

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