“This is a $2.4 trillion industry run on handwritten notes,” says 33-year-old Dr. Jay Parkinson. “We’re using 3,000-year-old tools to deliver health care in the richest country on the planet.” His prescription: a Facebook-like platform that uses technology, from IM to video chat, to restore the traditional doctor-patient relationship that has been lost in today’s high-pressure, high-volume, eight-minute-appointment practice model, which is often blamed for the shortage of primary-care physicians.
Parkinson, fresh from residencies in pediatrics and preventive medicine and a master’s in public health from Johns Hopkins, started a virtual practice in 2007, in Williamsburg, a Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood known for its heavy concentration of artists, bloggers, and bushy beards. He had a Web site and a blog, of course. He made house calls and conducted same-day e-visits. He accepted PayPal, but not insurance. Three hundred patients signed up in the first three months.
Photo by m-s-y.