As our health care system increasingly moves toward a system focused on population health, our nation's approximately 300,000 primary care providers are responsible for the health of a population of over 300 million people. According to a 2012 study in the Annals of Family Medicine, the average primary care provider should see 50-75% of current patient loads to avoid burning out and excess work related stress. Applied to every primary care provider and to the entire U.S. population that would allow every person to be seen approximately twice per year. While this may be enough for some "healthy" patients (one annual physical and one other illness), it is clearly not enough for many, particularly seniors over the age of 65, newborn infants and babies or those in need of new employment or school physical examinations. With these numbers it is a challenge to see how these providers can provide every person the care they need, whenever they need it, without some new models of care. Using advanced broadband-enabled technologies is one promising model.
(Census Bureau Population Clock, Census Bureau 2012 National Populations Projections, Agingstats.gov, Report: Prevalence, Expenditures, and Complications of Multiple Chronic Conditions in the Elderly, JAMA, Archives of Internal Medicine, Health Resources and Services Administration, Report: The Changing Demographic Profile of the United States, Congressional Research Service).