Telemedicine is taking the medical world by storm, and is gradually changing the way patients and practitioners communicate with one another.
These are exciting times for healthcare professionals. From cutting-edge medicine and advanced research to new surgical tools and methodologies, advanced technology is improving the care provided to patients worldwide.
Health Services, Innovated
One of the key areas impacted by innovation – in healthcare and everywhere else – is communication. Online technology and video conferencing have profoundly changed the way physicians communicate with their patients, and with one another. Video conferencing is changing medical practices, providing new opportunities and presenting new challenges.
The Benefits of Telemedicine
Generally speaking, healthcare services provided via telecommunication is called telemedicine, or telehealth. This is a fast-growing field; to understand its appeal, let’s examine it from the patient’s perspective.
Video conferencing with healthcare professionals can help patients save a lot of time and money. For obvious reasons, meeting a doctor without leaving the house is more cost and time-efficient than driving to the clinic and looking for parking. For patients with chronic conditions and for geriatric patients who require ongoing monitoring and periodical visits, using telehealth solutions can be a dramatic life-changer.
Video conferencing also grants patients access to healthcare professionals who practice medicine in different cities, states, and even countries. This is particularly important for patients with specific conditions, who seek unique and sometimes rare medical expertise.
With these benefits, it’s no wonder the telemedicine market is growing, and is projected to break new usage and profit records in the coming years.
Practicing Healthcare Through Video
Today’s medical institutions, clinics, and private practices cannot afford to overlook the growing impact of telemedicine. Video conferencing is all about accessibility; by using cutting-edge telecommunication tools, physicians can help improve the lives of more patients than ever before.
There’s also another reason: as more and more people worldwide experience medical diagnosis, consultation, and follow-up through video conferencing, they grow accustomed to its advantages and they expect this kind of accessibility. Medical practitioners who will not meet patient expectations risk being left behind.
Video conferencing provides healthcare professionals with many opportunities.
Here are just a few:
- Increased flexibility: video conferencing allows physicians to increase their operating hours and fit in more patients during the day. By using telecommunication technologies available in diverse locations (the office, home, other clinics), they can also minimize commute times.
- Increased collaboration and better propagation of expertise: doctors can discuss specific cases, share data and review medical methodologies with colleagues and experts from all over the world, at the touch of a button.
- Increased equality: with telemedicine, professional healthcare services can be provided anywhere in the world, even in poorer countries which suffer from insufficient healthcare services.
- Increased emergency impact: many physicians are involved in hands-on overseas assistance and emergency care. By communicating with on-site first responders via video conferencing, they can help people in distress immediately without leaving their clinic.
- Increased profit: clinics and institutions that offer telemedicine services will naturally attract more patients, and they will also enjoy a more efficient logistic operation.
Every Opportunity Has Its Challenges
While video conferencing affords significant advantages, it also poses numerous challenges that cannot be overlooked. Here are a few things to remember:
- Patient privacy: patient information must remain secure and private at all times. Physicians must make sure to use professional video conferencing tools with strict encryption protocols, which adhere to national and international regulations.
- Equipment quality: not all video conferencing solutions are created equal. Healthcare professionals must conduct research before committing to a specific solution, in order to ensure that their chosen tool matches the video and audio requirements pertaining to their specific fields of expertise.
- Tech developments: today’s world moves fast, and today’s cutting-edge technology can become obsolete in a matter of months. Clinics are responsible for the quality of service provided to their patients, and therefore should always stay on top of current developments.
- Varied solutions: while there is an abundance of solutions available for video conferencing, the hardest (and most important) part is to find the right one which will provide the appropriate workflow needed for the clinic or for the institution.
- Limitations: video conferencing is not a solution for everything, and there are cases and situations that require a visit to the clinic. In today’s day and age, every healthcare professional must be skilled in knowing what telemedicine can accomplish, and what it still cannot.
Thinking about upgrading your clinic with advanced video conferencing solutions? We can help. Contact us today!