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Design, Innovation Learning Network, Kaiser Permanente

CareAnywhere: an African Adventure


Zambia @ Safari Camp / 4 July @ 8pm: “its called what?!?!” The two fellow travelers, who also happend to be doctors, were in agreement that if I go SCUBA diving in Lake Malawi that I should seek treatment for a water parasite called schistosomiasis.

Zambia @ Airport / 5 July @ 10am: Using m.kp.org * on my SmartPhone, I email my doctor about the Lake Malawi parasite concern.

Malawi @ Airport / 5 July @ 3pm: Again using, m.kp.org I receive the following note back from my doctor: “I will discuss with my infectious disease specialist and get back to you. Be safe but have loads of fun! And take lots of pictures.”

Malawi @ Lake Malawi / 6 July @ 3pm: Kicking back having a cocktail by the lake and reading Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter on my iPad, I notice that I received another email from my doctor: “A prescription for Praziquantel will be mailed to you. Have a safe trip home.”

Malawi @ Lake Malawi 30 feet below the surface / 7 July @ 10am: I am enjoying the most amazing freshwater SCUBA dive of my life. My dad has been raising fish from this lake for 30 years, and this is a once in a lifetime chance to swim through what looks like my dad’s fish tank…but a billion times bigger.

San Francisco @ home / 10 July @ 2pm: I’ve just arrived home, and sitting in the mailbox is the prescription.

The above is true, amazing, and what the world of healthcare should be. Its seems so unreal the I was able to receive care by MY doctor based in San Francisco while I am on safari in Zambia, and that the care was coordinated, timely and precise. I can only imagine that in a few short years that this will be the standard. But right now I am basking in the awe that what many innovators have been dreaming about for decades literally manifested this past Fourth of July. Now that is independence!

A few years back the Innovation Learning Network explored the wide world of telemedicine. The premise was to explore how one might be able to receive care anywhere, anytime by people who knew you. We brought that exploration together into a nice booklet called CareAnywhere. For most, CareAnywhere was an “imagine if” exercise. Well, I’ve just had my first REAL CareAnywhere…

….and it is everything I thought it would be.
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*NOTE: m.kp.org is designed for SmartPhones.  Use kp.org when using a computer.

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