Doc in a Booth

When I was in junior high, those photo booths at the mall were all the rage. My mom would drop me off with a friend or two, and we would spend the day watching movies at the dollar theater, buying candy from the sweet shop, and trying on fake jewelry at Claire’s.

But a trip to the mall was best remembered by a semi-private photo shoot, where my friend and I could crowd into the booth, pull the curtain, and flash peace signs for the camera. The booth was a convenient, on-demand way to take pictures without having to go to a photographer’s studio—which we would never do. Plus, we would get prints in less than five minutes.

Now, imagine going to the mall, stepping into a booth, drawing the curtain, and instead of taking silly photos, having a realtime consultation with a doctor. A new solution—the HealthSpot Care4 Station—takes this photo-booth concept to the next level, harnessing M2M technology and providing a convenient, on-demand way to access healthcare.

Ohio-based company, HealthSpot, provides these “virtual clinics,” which (unlike the photo booths at the mall), are fully enclosed kiosks that keep your session private. The Care4 Stations may soon show up in malls, pharmacies, supermarkets, and office buildings near you.

Patients are connected to doctors via realtime, high-def videoconferencing using a wireless 4G network. HealthSpot says there will be digital medical devices integrated into each Care4 Station, allowing doctors to not only consult with patients, but to collect health data remotely.

Besides being really convenient, this kind of connected-health solution could deliver healthcare to people who might not otherwise have access to it. Plus, if people began using Care4 Stations, maybe waiting rooms would be less crowded overall … and we could all spend our extra free time taking impromptu photos.

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