Q&A with Physician and Entrepreneur Adam Tabriz on Tele-Medicine for Aesthetic and Cosmetic Consultations
Q: Now that people are living longer, are they satisfied with the way they look? Do people feel that they look as healthy on the outside as they are on the inside?
Our health and our vanity often go hand-in-hand. Everyone wants to live longer and stay healthy, but people also want attention and praise from others. This means people want to look as good as they feel. Our mental health is affected by the way others see us and react to us.
In some developed countries, cosmetic procedures are regarded as genuine medical issues, and are reimbursed by insurance companies. This makes sense, because disliking the way we look can cause depression, social phobias and problems with self-image.
Some people take cosmetic surgery way too far, and get unnecessary procedures because they can never be satisfied with the way they look. There are even television shows about people who do this. Cosmetic surgeons need to be on the lookout for people who have this problem, and stop treating them.
But many people get cosmetic surgery because they want to look as healthy as they feel. They don’t hate the way they look, they simply want to look a bit better. Cosmetic surgeons should help patients like those, because if they feel better about themselves, they will be healthier.
Q: Are consultations about aesthetic procedures expensive, and are there technologies that could reduce the price?
Cosmetic surgeons get a lot of business through word-of-mouth, as opposed to patients simply walking in off the street. When people hear about a really good cosmetic surgeon, they will sometimes travel a long way, even across state lines, to get a consultation.
There is a huge potential market in connecting cosmetic surgeons and patients remotely. But the technology to accomplish that needs to be sophisticated and interactive.
Patients need to be able to see and hear what the surgeon is explaining to them, and even see simulations that illustrate exactly how procedures are done and what the results will look like. It will take an advanced technology system to accomplish that.
There are solutions on the market today, but they are bulky, costly and sometimes inaccurate, which creates false expectations for patients. A better technology could really cut costs and improve the experience for both doctors and patients.
Q: Are there telemedicine tools available to people who want cosmetic procedures?
The only tools available are prohibitively expensive. They mainly rely on computer animation, so they don’t use real data from the patient, which is essential. What’s needed is a system that connects cosmetic surgeons and patients using real data and real interaction, instead of a digital simulation.
Q: What are the most important reasons for connecting physicians and patients remotely?
Cosmetic medicine is like every branch of medicine. Remote access to healthcare is the way to increase revenue, deliver quality care, respect the patient’s privacy, increase patient satisfaction and, at the same time, help physicians consult with as many patients as possible.
People all over the world need better medical care, including cosmetic care. In underserved areas, children with cleft palates or other conditions do not have convenient access to healthcare professionals. Remote access is a way of extending the doctor’s reach, whether the doctor is consulting on cancer care, psychology or cosmetic procedures.
Q: If there was a system for remote aesthetic consultations, how would it be used?
It will be used the same way it is used in all areas of healthcare. It will be used to bring doctors and patients together without borders. The system will rely on real-time data, and will be interactive and secure.
This is what VirtuMed 360 will accomplish. It will bring secure, real-time remote consultation into aesthetic medicine the way it is being brought into other areas of medicine.