I received an email yesterday encouraging me to register for and attend a “National Telemedicine Summit,” being held later this month in Las Vegas, NV. The email promised me the event would provide “Key Strategies to Revolutionize & Transform Healthcare Delivery, Optimize Quality Patient Care & Outcomes, Increase Accessibility, Enhance Data Analytics, and Reduce Costs!” It also encouraged me to “Attend this Conference to Learn About the Latest and Most Innovative Trends within Telemedicine!” This caught my interest, as telemedicine is really beginning to gain some attention in the workers' compensation industry.
So, here's my question. Shouldn't I be able to attend a conference dedicated to the marvels of remote communication remotely? There seems to be some irony in the notion that hundreds of medical and other professionals will be schlepping out to Vegas to learn about how they didn't have to schlep out to Vegas to learn what they just learned. They could have learned it from home, in their underwear – depending on the positioning of the camera, of course. I am sure that “Framing the Shot for Ultimate Success” would be a session of any telemedicine summit that I produced.
Certainly, this is an important topic, as technology is finally making telemedicine a potential gamechanger in healthcare. It is important for key players to know its strengths and limitations, so that its use is appropriate in all situations. Hopefully people from the the hospital that, earlier this year, wheeled a mobile video device into its emergency room so that a doctor in Mumbai could tell a patient they wouldn't live through the night, will be attending. They could learn what a bonehead maneuver that really was.
I recognize that there would be some significant adaptations in attending a conference virtually. It would be easier to hit the multitude of receptions available at these events, although it would take some adjustment. You could still get hammered while yammering with other attendees via a mobile or other video device, but at the end of the night you would wind up throwing up on your own carpet instead of in some hapless Uber drivers' car. Someone will have some splainin' to do with their spouse.
And frankly, at any remote event with dancing, well, you'd just look ridiculous. Now that I think of it, it really wouldn't be much different from being on the actual dance floor.
The expo hall would be another challenge. Visiting exhibitors would probably be much more difficult to do in a virtual exhibit hall. It would also be impossible to fill your bag full of promotional tsotchke crap that you will likely never use.
Still, the benefits of virtually attending a conference (would that be “teleconferencing?”) has some appeal. You would eliminate the hassles of travel and time away from home. You could happily forfeit the TSA colonoscopy and the endless waiting in various lines. You could attend every session without ever having to leave your favorite chair. Now that would indeed be living.
Alas, it appears that telehealth is not yet the panacea that many of us hope it will ultimately be. Apparently, we still have some physical schlepping to do, even when immersed in the topic of remote communication. Since I've had a little fun at their expense, I might as well give the conference a plug. It is being held September 26 & 27, and you can get more information here. I will not be in attendance, virtually or otherwise. I will be schlepping to Chicago on those dates, as I am scheduled to speak at the National Workers' Compensation Defense Network Annual Seminar.
NWCDN won't let me do it remotely. I wish I had known that damn camera was pointed too low the last time we telecommunicated.
Robert Wilson is President & CEO of WorkersCompensation.com, and "From Bob's Cluttered Desk" comes his (often incoherent) thoughts, ramblings, observations and rants - often on workers' comp or employment issues, but occasionally not.
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Bob is an accomplished speaker for the workers' compensation industry. He is available for conferences, corporate events, children's birthday parties and Bar Mitzvahs. You may access his Speakers Brief here.