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The NHS published in January its long-term plan in which it promised to redesign services so that, by 2024, up to a third of hospital outpatient consultations would be undertaken by video link. The idea is that this will increase convenience, reduce costs and free up staff time for other tasks. But this aim is unlikely to be realised quite so quickly.

Yes, video consulting is no longer science fiction. The same technologies (Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp and others) that connect us with our friends and family can potentially connect us to our doctors, nurses, psychotherapists, pharmacists, dieticians and interpreters. Proof-of-concept examples (mostly in primary care) already exist and are gaining traction.

Read the full article on The Conversation website, co-authored by Trisha Greenhalgh, Professor of Primary Care Health Sciences, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences. 

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