Speaking to a doctor via a webcam might sound like something out of The Jetsons, but it could be a reality sooner than you think. Sir Bruce Keogh, the medical director of the NHS, has called for doctors to offer remote consultations to patients via video link within the next year. But is this a service people want from their family doctor?
In order to find out more, YouGov polled over 2,000 people and found that almost 29 per cent in the UK would like to see GPs start offering remote consultations via video link in the next decade. Less than a third may not sound like much, but if you take into account how many millions of appointments NHS doctors conduct each year, there is clearly a huge demand from patients for ‘virtual’ consultations. Experts have also suggested that telemedicine could generate savings of £1bn a year for the NHS and a massive reduction in the number of hospital admissions.