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Tech Advances Put Annual Doctor Visits on Critical List


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The Mayo Clinic has started sending laboratory kits to patients in advance of their physicals. Patients, especially those who live far away, can get blood drawn at a local clinic and send it back for standard lab and genetic analyses and discuss results with their doctors virtually.

Credit: Shawn Michael Jones/The Wall Street Journal

The pandemic has disrupted annual doctor visits, and digital technology, imaging, gene sequencing, and artificial intelligence (AI) will likely further virtualize physical examinations.

Adding more technology to physicals could further distance the doctor-patient relationship, but designers of digital medical technologies see opportunities for improvement.

Rochester, MN's Mayo Clinic is sending laboratory kits to patients ahead of physicals, so patients can get blood sampled at local clinics for standard and genetic analyses, then discuss the results with physicians virtually.

Mayo eventually expects to collect additional patient data remotely using smartphone and smartwatch applications, wearable sensors, and blood pressure cuffs.

From The Wall Street Journal
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