Doctors On Demand: Would You Use an Uber for Doctors? – Learn Liberty


Wouldn’t it be great if seeing a doctor
was as quick and easy as calling an UBER? In some places it is. New company’s are now allowing patients
to use an app to order a doctor for their home as simply as they order a ride. Thanks to innovations in technology and the sharing economy, the old fashioned
house call which had become a luxury that only the richest could afford, could
be making a comeback for average patients. This means personalized services
that work around your schedule. No waiting weeks for an appointment, or
missing classes or work because you had to take public transit to a doctor’s office,
or wait for hours in the. Importantly, it could also
mean getting better care. Doctors report that these services give
them more time to focus on the patient and to practice real medicine again. New health services like these
are emerging because entrepreneurs and business people had the freedom to
experiment with new ways to serve customers. As these start-ups have
be gotten off the ground, they weren’t stopped at every stage by
government regulations and bureaucracy. They had freedom to innovate which is
key not only to our economic growth but to our well being. I call it permission-less innovation
because this innovation doesn’t have to seek approval or get a license at
every step in order to move forward. Instead, innovation can be rapid and
responsive to current needs. The Wright Brothers never asked anyone
if they could build a plane, and Steve Jobs didn’t ask
permission to build the iPhone. But this engine of growth and
progress is often threatened. On-demand doctors making house
calls have been allowed so far, but their competitors, offering more
affordable services via webcam, known as telemedicine have not been so
lucky. With some states imposing strict
regulations on such services. While done in the name of public safety,
such restrictions actually mean fewer services, higher prices,
and reduced access to care. If we would to improve the affordability
and accessibility of health care for all we need to let that health care sector
follow the example of Silicon Valley. And allow innovation. New ideas and competition to flourish. On demand house calls could
be just the beginning.

30 thoughts on “Doctors On Demand: Would You Use an Uber for Doctors? – Learn Liberty

  • Would you use an Uber doctor that didn't have to graduate from an accredited school, simply calls himself a doctor, pays no malpractice, maintains no business insurance, while at the same time real doctors are still required to maintain all the overhead and schooling?

  • Apparently there is something wrong with living under a crony capitalist system with socialist undertones. Regulate and spend the the moto of congress.

  • No, he didn't ask permission to build the iPhone, he just wanted people to ask him for permission to build anything rectangular with a curved corner.

  • Let me decide. That's all that matters. Besides, insurance is simple to acquire and simple to pay for granted no government overhead and interference. Hell, google 'Friendly Societies' and view the history they'll never ever teach you in public school.

    That's what a true medical care and insurance system looks like.

  • Is the "doctor on demand" model fee-for-service? How do you think the health insurers view this model and will they offer coverage?

  • you want to encourage the deregulation of medicine? Are you insane? You use silicon valley as a POSITIVE example, that bubble has burst time and time again, do you want the same for health services just to make quick buck? There's a difference between capitalism and greed but with more and more people like this in charge don't be surprised to see that line blur.

  • Viable free-market healthcare? Expect the progressives to try to regulate this out of existence as soon as they conceivably can.

  • Honestly, The idea of doctors commuting to houses is a pretty bad idea. Not just a bad business idea. But a bad idea for society as a whole.
    There are too many people in this world that can use health care but cannot receive it because it is either not accessible or too expensive.
    The reason this idea is so bad is basically because a doctors time is worth too much. Looking at it from the business side, why would a patient pay for an hour worth of a doctor driving out somewhere to perform a 15 minute examination, cost (1h 15m of doctor time) when they instead could commute the hour themselves and pay for 15 minutes of doctor time, paying essentially 1/5 the cost.

    The only people using this service would be the very rich, who have more money than sense. Or possibly the rare person who for some reason is unable to travel.

    That isn't the only issue. On the other side, it is a terribly inefficient use of a very skilled persons time.
    Using the above example, The doctor could have instead helped 5 people in this time that it took to help 1.
    By using this service each patient would be selfishly denying healthcare to other people that could be receiving it during the time it takes the doctor to reach them.

  • Actually Apple did ask for permission to make the iPhone in a sense. During the process of building the device, they would have had to dig through all the patents they could be infringing on. They did this by making patents of every single little thing the iPhone uses, then seeing what gets rejected by the patent office. Its actually more efficient to find patent infringements this way than looking through the billions of individual patents out there. They would have also needed to comply to rules set forth by the FCC in regards to cell phones and radio frequency.

  • I don't think this is revolutionary in any way. I'm no public health expert, but doctors that are simply called by an app would probably be called by those who are fairly wealthy, not average citizens. A doctor's time is very important and doctors have every incentive to see as many patients as possible to gain the most money. The time it takes for a doctor to drive to your house could have been used to see three or four patients if the doctor had just stayed put and waited for the patients to come with them. In order to make up for the lost time, those doctors would have to charge more, pricing most people out. If insurance were to cover part of the cost, it would make this scheme more affordable to the average citizen but the tradeoff would be higher insurance premiums for everyone to offset the costs that the insurance companies now have to cover.

    In addition, if we're assuming that this scheme is for general practicioners, I highly doubt that there will be enough GPs to meet the demand. The number of general practicioners is declining and there's little incentive for people these days to become a GP when they can just be a specialist and earn a higher income. In addition, gaining a medical license is extremely difficult compared to being licensed to drive a taxi or work for uber, making it harder to fill gaps in demand. Basic supply and demand would therefore dictate that with a shortage of supply, we can expect GP's to charge a lot from their patients. And like I said before, if the cost is covered by insurance companies, then it just shifts the costs to everyone else.

    In terms of changing the way we interact with doctors, it seems like such an idea is more of an evolution of doctors-on-demand rather than a revolution of the field.

  • More dumb shit from Learn Liberty.. How is it more efficient for a doctor to spend most of their time traveling to patients?

    There is no explanation, no model. Just basic cliches.

    Its just dumb ideological propaganda.. saying deregulate the world and then it is better? I don't want to be treated by a doctor who is not qualified, or has a poor track record etc etc.

  • I think the key here is "Transparency." Uber for Doctors makes sense if the Doctors come with rating on their outcomes.

    Free Markets float on an ocean of information. In order to pick a Doctor the consumer needs to know a lot about that Doctor. For example is the incentive for the Doctor to make money for themselves by ordering tests that generate the most profit for the Doctor? Or is the incentive for the Doctor to make me well?

    Without this transparency, using Uber for Doctor is a huge risk.

    (By the Way, transparency is more obvious for transportation Uber. In the sense that you can see the quality of the car before you get in. And the incentive for the Uber driver is more limited.)

  • The issue is that if the doctor has to go at the patient home, then he can see less patients in a day, so obviously this service can't be less expensive than if you go to a doctor cabinet, therefore it's a lie to say that this service is for average people and would reduce the cost like uber did, but of course you can do what you want.

  • In government speak, "public safety" is just another word for control. Scare the people, pass a law that will supposedly protects them, control them or an industry. Works every time.

  • Haha, witch doctors anyone? Seriously though many of the obstacles placed against start up doctors are done so at the safety of the general public and to also put liability on the practices of which these doctors use.

  • If you like this kind of discussion, be sure to head on over to Learn Liberty's "Government Regulation and Technology" on demand program: http://www.learnliberty.org/course_details/government-regulation-technology/

  • I'm just thinking how these systems would sort out those who are not real experts or using pseudoscience?

  • As a Doctor, I don't think this idea is going to work, especially from the Doctors perspective. As much as we love to give the best care possible for patients, but our life as Doctors is too busy to be able to assign time to visit patients at home, few challenges include.
    1.At Hospital we have all the necessary tools to reach to a conclusive diagnosis and thus provide a more accurate treatment option.
    2.Home facility is very limited and diagnosis could only be reached for very simple cases.
    3.It's for the patients benefit that Doctors work in a Hospital because more patients could be treated at a quicker speed.
    4.In the video, it states that "instead of going to ER, doctors will visit you" Really? do these people know anything about the facilities and services/care a patient would receive in ER to compare it to home care?

    Overall, I think this would work best for Geriatric/family medicine patients or follow up cases that have been already diagnosed and receiving regular treatment.

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