Sherpaa: Healthcare through technology

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Published on June 18, 2016 with No Comments

While there is continuing debate and side-picking on the Affordable Care Act, Doctor Jay Parkinson decided to neither beat them nor join them. Instead, he is pioneering a completely different brand of health care – some of it via iPhone. Yes, iPhone. Got a cut finger? Take a photo with your iPhone, e-mail it to a doctor and arrange for care, if necessary. All this is possible through Sherpaa, an around the clock e-mail and phone based medical care system. In an environment of skyrocketing medical costs alongside excessive medical bureaucracy, Jay Parkinson decided that there had be a better way to provide healthcare, at a possibly cheaper cost, all with the aid of modern technology.

Sherpaa, being used by Instagram, aims to make health care more efficient and less expensive. According to Dr. Parkinson, 75 percent of the population spends less than $2,000 each on health care annually, and 96 percent of the people spend less than $10,000. In spite of this health care is the second highest cost for companies, after payroll. Inserting technology, including smartphones and e-mail but possibly not Twitter or Facebook, Dr. Parkinson believes he can cut out wasteful spending and provide better care. Of course, it could be said that “wasteful spending” is in the eye of the beholder, but we’re all interested in technology.

As an example of work being done by Sherpaa, Dr. Parkinson described a case. He received an e-mail from a friend who had ongoing abdominal pains. Thinking it might be appendicitis, Dr. Parkinson forwarded the e-mail to a surgeon then followed up with a text. The surgeon texted back. Soon the patient had been CT scanned and diagnosed and was in and out of surgery in a jiffy – home in three hours. Then came the kicker. After billing the insurance company $47,000 for the procedure, the insurance company called to ask why the bill was so low. Typically an appendectomy is billed at $110,000, of which the surgeon gets $1,500. Somewhere in the mix there are numerous questions about Sherpaa and medical care in general, but we like the idea of technology in medical care.

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