Advanced video technologies provide medical care at a distance
Telemedicine has proven to be a core component of patient engagement when using the latest software technology from companies like Pipeline Video Solutions, Inc. in Melbourne. The term telemedicine includes both preventive and curative aspects, and spans the entire patient experience, from hospital to home
While telemedicine activities have been going on for decades, the technology has emerged to major markets in the last five years due to advancements, ease of use, quality and cost. Delivery of services is typically offered through turnkey network solutions deployed at the customer’s data center, or as cloud-based services. Companies like Pipeline offer both means of delivery with support and integration services into existing network infrastructures for a seamless service delivery.
Telemedicine markets continue to be an effective treatment for many shortfalls present in each step of the current health care experience, whether it is getting to see the right specialist at the right time, or making sure a patient properly manages his or her medications.
EXTENDING THE REACH OF HEALTH CARE
Some of the most significant benefits of telemedicine are demonstrated in its ability to extend the geographic reach of medical care. This technology enables more frequent and higher-quality monitoring of chronic cases, as well as enables enhanced levels of domiciliary care. Telemedicine can also significantly reduce costs by reducing non-medically necessary ER visits and readmissions as members use virtual options for after-hours care and provider instruction. On-site care providers also benefit from telemedicine, since it allows them to receive quick consultations from remotely based clinicians and can reduce the frequency and duration of travel and hospital stays.
Telemedicine can facilitate more accurate and timely diagnoses to both the local patient or hard-to-reach rural areas by making available specialist opinions where this was previously either not possible or required strenuous travel.
The use of telemedicine services offered is also being used for educational purposes to foster improved preventive care measures. Pipeline’s telemedicine services include webinar and recording features that facilitate patient education and supports continuing education for health care professionals.
The practice of telemedicine is undergoing significant evolution along with the advances taking place in the video conferencing market in general. With the advancement in technology developed by companies like Pipeline Video Solutions, the number of telemedicine programs around the country is growing, and they are encompassing an increasing number of medical fields.
Telemedicine is unique among all videoconferencing end-user applications in the fact that it can involve the most critical and sensitive cases, and also offer a personalized means of communication for training, education, peer consultation, patient monitoring and counseling at reduced costs.
In the last two years, equipment prices have come down dramatically while endpoint functionality — particularly video quality, reliability and ease of use — has improved substantially. Coinciding with falling equipment prices is the cost of video-conferencing software that bridges equipment end points. Companies like Pipeline offer technology as a hosted cloud-based service referred to as “Video as a Service” (VaaS), saving clients thousands of dollars.
Telemedicine is not an alternative to the delivery of care given by physicians, but a complement to the way physicians can deliver care more effectively while facilitating communication more efficiently. For these reasons, health care practitioners are increasingly adopting videoconferencing applications to deliver enhanced access to health care, as well as to improve the quality of that care at reduced prices across the globe.
How to Select the Right Telemedicine Provider
Caregivers who have adopted telemedicine must first consider the manner in which they plan to use telemedicine conferencing and establish a budget after considering both short and long-term return on investment. A good telemedicine provider will first establish a set of deliverables based on the individual telemedicine goals and objectives before offering their service.
Questions that should be asked:
- Is your audience strictly patient care, or will you be offering peer consultations, training or perhaps webinars?
- Will your audience be joining a conference using their own end point, such as a tablet, smartphone, desktop, laptop or perhaps a state-of-the-art video room, and can the solution support multiple devices and operating systems?
- Is recording, data collaboration and file/video sharing necessary?
- If your patient is remote and connecting over limited bandwidth, can the solution require minimal bandwidth and still have excellent quality?
- How many guests can you have in a meeting, webinar or conference?
- Can the solution traverse firewalls to ensure connect-ions? Don’t think that because a video solution says “secured” on their website that their solution is encrypted at the highest level and HIPAA compliant.
These questions create challenges for many telemedicine providers. Be sure the video conference provider listens to your needs and has the experience and resources to ensure a successful deployment of telemedicine video solutions.
Lance Littlejohn is the president of Pipeline Video Solutions, Inc., which offers turnkey, managed and cloud-based video conferencing solutions that are simple, affordable and scalable. For more information, call (321) 574-2299 ext. 15 or visit Pipeline-Video.com.