No touch techniqueBMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7026.318a (Published 03 February 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:318
- Naomi Craft
The consultation is undergoing a bigger revolution than the one caused 300 years ago by the invention of the stethoscope. For centuries, doctors have held surgeries and outpatient clinics, their patients sometimes travelling hundreds of miles for a specialist opinion. The advent of new communication technology now means that future generations of doctors and their patients may never meet, except through the information superhighway.
Along it, a doctor can receive clinical details about patients, as well as photographs, x rays and scans, offer diagnoses, and suggest treatments. If the information is made available on the Internet, 30 million people can join in the consultation. One recent case has generated wide interest in implications of the technology.
Zhu Ling is a 21 year old college student living in China who presented with alopecia and transient gastrointestinal distress. She then developed a peripheral neuropathy, had a …