Doctors being flashed by users of telehealth apps

When people think about digital health, they imagine technologies enabling change both within and outside of healthcare institutions. What they don’t realise is that online technology will always provide opportunities for those wanting to take advantage of it.

A recent article from CNBC has revealed that doctors are being given a hard time because of telehealth and telemedicine apps and services – by being flashed by ‘patients’.

Yes, doctors using telemedicine apps and services – which supply video calls between doctors and patients – are being subjected to full frontal exposure by males, CNBC reports.

Bob Kocher, an investor of telehealth provider Doctor on Demand told CNBC: “There was a period where it was happening to some of our doctors once a week.”

The article also detailed how CEO of online doctor app Sherpaa Jay Parkinson received over 30 pictures of men’s genitals after launching a partnership where anyone could text a doctor to get their health questions answers. Speaking about the situation Parkinson said: “It’s the internet”.

Users of services are able to sign up to services such as Doctor on Demand and Sherpaa quickly using false information, making it difficult for them to be detected and blocked.

Telemedicine company American Well’s CEO Roy Schoenberg discussed the problem. He said: “I think what’s important to note is that the issue you’re raising – the exposure dilemma – is really one of a few ways in which patients may use the system inappropriately. We have a systematic approach to managing it that in many ways is reflective of how doctors deal with problematic patients in traditional settings.”

To solve the issue Schoenberg stated shutting off users’ logins and verifying their ID trough credit card authorisation to prevent individuals using the service a second time.




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