Remote consultation to ‘be part of future’

New technology could enable a large proportion of medical consultations and monitoring online.

William Laing

William Laing, executive chairman of LaingBuisson, said it was possible now to complete ’30-40% of medical consultations online, without time-consuming follow-on, but remote monitoring and patient-held devices could see this rise to’ maybe 70%.

Insurers were talking to tech platforms about developing online models for delivering more economical and more convenient services for managing chronic conditions, for which there was ‘a massive potential market’.

He said winners would include tech platforms for virtual consultations and remote monitoring, particularly those with Care Quality Commission registration to deliver services as well as simply enabling consultations.

‘Consultants will presumably prove powerful enough to defend their interest, though they will need to accept a change in working practices for the potential efficiencies from online consultations to be realised.’