Sunday, March 27, 2005

I want a Frist opinion

If you can't afford health insurance--or even it you can--there is now a new resource open to you. The Dr. Bill TeleDiagnosis Service, courtesy the US Senate. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist launched the service this week, speaking from the Senate floor. Its first patient was Terri Schiavo, who, Dr. Bill opined ("more as a physician than as a US senator") had not been definitely diagnosed because there was "insufficient information to conclude that Terri Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state." Dr. Bill used digital imaging--in this case a years old video of the patient--to reach his professional opinion.

Announcement of the new service came from Michael Bassik who is brokering the system at the technology oriented Personal Democracy Forum. Here are the details, as Bassik revealed them:
Take a digital picture or video of your medical problem – tennis elbow, acne, runny nose, hemorrhoids, or whatever ails you - and send it to the doctor in charge of the US Senate and your health care.

Everyone, take two minutes and upload your photos to [register first if you aren't a member; it's free]. "Tag" the photo "Frist." If we get critical mass, we'll send everyone's photos to Dean Rosen, the good doctor's Health Care policy director!
My hat's off to Dr. Bill. I've been a doctor for almost four decades but I can't make a diagnosis from a fuzzy video image. I guess I learned before we had that kind of fancy technology.