No one would think me athletic, but I did once sprain my ankle in a basketball game. Maybe that’s when I decided to quit playing any sport.
That day, in PE class, I jumped up and landed in an ungraceful way on my right foot, ankle bone on the floor. I hobbled home. My mother phoned our family doctor, who was also a family friend. He stopped by on the way home from work, checked my ankle and had a beer with my dad.
I thought about Dr. V again as I was reading Well+Good’s (Wellandgood.com) projection of trends in 2016 that relate to health.
One category referred to the “uberization” of health and beauty services. Apparently in large cities, you can get a massage, a facial or a manicure “delivered” to your door (home or office) in moments. Zeel is an app that allows for requesting same-day, in-home massages. The Ritualist is for facials, and Manicube offers manicures at your desk. Other sites offer drop-in services, sort of like the XpresSpa idea at airports. You just stop in, have a 15-minute massage and go on your way. The rationale is that busy people want convenience, a little bit of luxury (and supposedly, to do something good for their health), and they often want it at home.
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That’s why I remember Dr. V and started to wonder: Are we perhaps headed back to a world of home visits by medical professionals?
We have express drop-in medical outlets in grocery stores and on the street corner. When will we have in-home delivery of medical care?
I doubt I’ll see my family doctor swing by my house on the way home (although I’d be happy to offer him a beer), but with so many more options for health care providers, could others step in?
One friend has arranged for a physician’s assistant to do regular checkups on her aging mother in her assisted-living residence. Why not house calls for the rest of us?
I’m waiting for a smart millennial to start a firm doing just that.
Nancy Napier is distinguished professor, Boise State University; firstname.lastname@example.org. This column appears in the March 16-April 19, 2016, edition of the Idaho Statesman’s Business Insider magazine as part of a special section on the business of health.