Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Wednesday

May 14, 2014

Glenn Puit: Home health care back and forth

I remember when Pong was all the rage.

Yes, I’m old ... old enough, at least, to remember the 1970s Atari home video game that featured eraser-shaped white bars bopping a white dot back and forth in a TV table tennis contest. I was about 7 when I caught Pong mania and I distinctly remember being mind-boggled by the idea you could control the movement of anything on a television screen.

“Wow, that’s super cool … “ was the first thought. The second was “Mom, I want one!”

Today, in a world where my kids play games like Red Dead Redemption and Call of Duty Modern Warfare at home on their X-Box 360, the Pong memory still ricochets around in my mind like a wayward tennis dot. The flashback recently re-surfaced during an interview I did with Bob Fazzi, author of a report with the tantalizing title of National State of the Industry Report for Home Health and Hospice.

Wait!

Don’t stop reading!

More Pong references on the way!

Seriously, Fazzi shared some intriguing information in his interview and study – sponsored by two healthcare IT companies – about the future of doctor visits, including radical changes in the way doctor visits take place. Imagine your kid is sick and instead of panicking and rushing the little one to the doctor’s office you turn on your cable television with your ever-elusive remote, click on a button and virtually link with a live nurse practitioner on the television screen. Imagine you then hook the runny-nosed little whippersnapper (term used by guy old enough to remember Pong launch) to an in-home computer, and the nurse gets live readings on blood pressure, temperature and anything else needed to make little Johnny feel good again.

“Someday,” Fazzi said. “When your kids have kids.”

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