Throughout history, house call physicians were the standard way for most people to receive medical care. From the time of medicine men and shamans, up till the 1950s, medical care was most often provided within the home. It wasn’t until recent decades that doctors became hidden away in offices that patients had to visit.
One of the main reasons why the house call physician vanished in recent history is because of advancements in equipment. As diagnostic and treatment tools have developed, there is now a need for a central location where doctors can use these tools. Most of their equipment is large, bulky, and requires very specific conditions to work properly. This has cut back on the iconic image of a doctor with their special black bag visiting a patient’s home.
However, the rise of the house call physician in recent years may indicate a growing trend that could affect the future of medicine. As the Baby Boomer population gets older, and nursing care facilities are less able to provide care for the growing elderly population, it has become necessary for physicians, like those at Primary Medical Group, to offer care to home bound patients. These are patients who have a condition that makes leaving the home impossible, or patients who require mobility assistance and special transportation to do so. In order to help doctors meet this need, it could change the way that our medical technology develops from here on.
Portable versions of the diagnostic and treatment tools are likely to be the next big thing in medicine, as well as more medical partnerships, like Primary Medical Group, that offer qualified services from a variety of providers to present patients with a total-health solution. The medical future is also likely to see changes in the way services are priced, because things like travel time and liability implications will become more and more a part of the services offered by house call physicians.