Why Video Conferencing has Replaced the Stethoscope as a Physician’s New Best Friend
Faced with challenges such as budget cuts, trade regulations and labor shortages, the healthcare industry is up against some rough times. Being a predominantly “hands on” industry, healthcare and medical professionals are being forced to use innovative metrics to streamline their business practices, without impairing the quality of service provided to clients and patients.
With a little help from modern day technological tools, such as video and web conferencing, healthcare providers are able to aggressively confront industry related challenges, improve patient outreach and take worldwide healthcare to a whole new level.
Extended patient demographics and access – On July 2, 2010 an announcement released by the Obama Administration stated that $800 Million in funding will be allocated to expand broadband connections and telemedicine to rural and underserved regions. With easy online access, medical professionals can now use video and web conferencing to provide remote diagnoses and care to a larger geographical scope of patients.
Mandated continued education and staff training – Industry rules and regulations are changing all the time. Doctors and staff members are required to keep up with training and certification. Video conferencing provides an option for medical professionals to continue education, by allowing options for web-based mentoring and certification programs.
Remote patient communication and treatment – Using online video conferencing tools, Doctors can remotely interact with, analyze and diagnose patients. Patients looking into specialty services or looking to get a second opinion can be in touch with specialists without having to travel far distances for a checkup.
Medical health monitoring – Patients needing constant care or patients suffering from chronic degenerative diseases no longer need to deal with extended hospitals stays. Healthcare professionals can proactively monitor and prevent complications, while patients recover from the comforts of their home.
Pharmaceutical research – Physicians need to receive adequate training and education as to the uses and implementation of medications. Rather then sending sales representatives all over the country to meet with individual physicians, pharmaceutical companies can use video and web conferencing technology to host informational webinars.
Sharing patient files – Many times physicians need to consult with other specialists on patient issues. The collaborative tools included in most browser-based video conferencing solutions allow doctors to instantaneously share and respond to patient information and reports through a secure method without having to wait for the information to arrive via the mail or some other medium.
Recruit doctors and nurses – As with many other industries, holding an interview via video conferencing allows clinics and hospitals to have a greater prospect reach.
The typical doctor’s toolkit is filled with items which allow them to diagnose and monitor patients. A stethoscope to listen to body sounds, a pressure cuff to help measure blood pressure, an otoscope to look inside a patient’s ear, a patella hammer to check reflexes, an ophthalmoscope to examine eyes and now a computer with a web camera to remotely connect with patients and associates.