SOPHIE CHAPPUIS’ INTERVIEW
We continue our series of interviews on changes in our world over the past 20 years with this sixth video from Sophie Chappuis, CEO of E-ophtalmo. She introduces us to telemedicine and its impact on healthcare.
Telemedicine meets a real need. Initially, it was pushed a lot at the government level to respond to the problems of medical deserts. There are fewer and fewer ophthalmologists, which is our specialty — as well as fewer radiologists, fewer doctors overall — and, as a result, appointment wait times can reach nearly 18 months for an appointment with an ophthalmologist.
Telemedicine is a vast field where there are many different aspects. This can range from online appointment scheduling to teleconsultations. The way we do it in ophthalmology, we always maintain face-to-face contact. That is, there’s an orthoptist who will take the pictures, who will fill out the clinical file. The orthoptist will be able to see a patient in 48 hours or three to four days and then an ophthalmologist will remotely connect and analyze the file and report a diagnosis.
What’s very interesting is that in our case, for example, we realize that we’re working more and more in networks, in territories and even around the patient. That’s to say that many specialists are coming together around the patient who hadn’t been communicating with each other or who were communicating infrequently. For example, we have connections among the prescribing doctor, the general practitioner, the ophthalmologist, the orthoptist, the pharmacist, a whole bunch of people connect to the patient and who, thanks also to these means of connection, will be able to communicate with each other and provide the best care for the patient.
In my opinion, this is something that can bring a lot of benefits using resources that are already 90% in place at the moment. There isn’t much to develop other than effective networking and acceptance of new actors setting up in the healthcare sector.