Cisco exec promotes virtual house calls

Dr. Kaveh Safavi, healthcare practice chief for the Internet Business Solutions Group of Cisco Systems, believes it's time medicine went back to the future by embracing a 21st century version of the old-fashioned house call.

Combining live, two-way Internet video with secure information technology, home and mobile monitoring devices and--when necessary--retail clinics and physician offices could improve access to and lower the cost of care, Safavi writes in an op-ed piece for the Mercury News. This is what he calls the "office, clinic and home model."

Safavi says that current federal and state regulations that restrict or prohibit remote diagnoses and lack of reimbursement for such services stifle innovation in healthcare. Given that Cisco offers all kinds of teleconferencing and videoconferencing products, Safavi stands to benefit from such changes, but perhaps so does the health system as a whole.

For greater details on Safavi's proposal:
- read the full Mercury News op-ed piece