Ever-evolving health care technologies are a classic example of a double-edged sword. On one side, they hold the promise of simultaneously improving patient outcomes and physicians’ professional satisfaction. On the other, they threaten to exacerbate some of the disparities and inequalities found throughout our health care system.
Consider telemedicine. A driving force behind this technology was the desire to extend access to high-quality medical care to those in remote, less-populated areas. A virtual visit could level the playing field by providing the same level of care to patients living 100 miles away from a major medical center as those living down the street from it.