Research Blog 5

Where ER Doctors Work Entirely via Webcam:


Summarize the source:

The article “ER Doctors Work Entirely via Webcam” is a glance into an area in South Dakota where telemedicine is heavily concentrated. Long distance doctoring is bringing healthcare to rural communities in South Dakota. The reason for this technology based medicine is because of the lack of emergency trained doctors in rural areas. For example, if a patient is rushed to the ER in a rural area, there is often only one or no doctors, and if there is, the doctor is a family trained practitioner and not an emergency services trained practitioner. The main point of the article is that telemedicine or as the doctor’s like to call it, “hands in pocket doctoring,” is an effective, cheap, and quick way to help patients in emergent situations. In the context of my topic, this article shows that smartphones, texting, and FaceTime are necessary in society because it is serving populations who need care and are unable to access it otherwise.

What is most interesting/surprising to you from this source?  

The most surprising thing that I read in this article was the amount of money that can be saved by digital medicine. The hospital network in South Dakota reported an 18% decrease in transfers to major hospitals, equating to 6.6 million saved. This fact is shocking to me since my public health education has made me knowledgeable on the fact that the US healthcare system is broken and wastes billions of dollars every year. Therefore, knowing that some patients that were helped over the phone saved millions of dollars is extremely interesting to me.

Does this source refer to other sources? If so, how and why? If not, why not?

This source does not refer to other sources. I believe this is because the information was collected from real experience and interviews with doctors in the South Dakota area. There was no information presented that would come from a citable source.

What else does it make you want to know? Search for next? What questions does this source raise for you?

This article makes me want to know the following: How was 6.6 million dollars saved? What resources were cut down to save that much money? Are insurance companies affected by less individuals going to hospitals for healthcare?


Pocket-doctoring, healthcare system, insurance, universal healthcare, rural communities


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