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August 28, 2012

Live Video Chat with Your Doctor

By Robbie Pleasant
TMCnet Contributor

Video technology has been seeing an increase in use in hospitality, helping doctors examine and keep in touch with their patients no matter where they are. For patients requiring more constant monitoring, patients in certain UK hospitals are being provided laptop computers with video conferencing technology, allowing them to quickly contact their doctors for more immediate assistance when they need it.

It’s no secret that hospitals have more patients than doctors, so the staff members are always in high demand. At the same time, there are many outpatients who need to see their doctors face-to-face from time to time, but visiting can be a time-extensive task. In order to save precious time, many outpatients in need of continued monitoring have been lent laptops with video conferencing technology, which can be used in lieu of in-person appointments, and to contact the proper department should any troubling symptoms appear.

Doctor image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Skilled doctors can tell whether or not a patient needs to return to the hospital from seeing them on the videos, while data such as oxygen levels can be displayed on-screen. Data can also be transmitted through the telemedicine software, such as heart scans to locate any symptoms, allowing the team to diagnose any heart problems early on.

“There's no doubt in my mind this has saved lives,” says Dr. Frank Casey, cardiologist at Clark Clinic in the Royal Belfast Hospital for sick children. “Overall cost savings have definitely outweighed the expenditure of buying the system, but there's more to it than that. It gives us a chance to share our expertise outside our own hospital. The value we can add by offering patients and colleagues support like this is incalculable.”

There are plans to expand on the system, allowing for additional monitoring to provide more data to the doctors. Even with just this, though, it has still made it considerably easier for doctors to diagnose and help patients from a distance.

This goes to show the amazing applications that video technology can have outside of the business workplace. Telecommunication isn’t just useful for calling colleagues or friends, it can and is used to save lives. The value of video in hospitality is not to be overlooked, and will hopefully continue to advance to help save even more lives.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

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