Monthly Archives: May 2014

Why Technical Expertise Matters

For the majority of applications audiovisual system design and integration is fairly similar across the different vertical markets. It does not take a high degree of specialty in any one vertical market, for instance, to design a conference room presentation system. Regardless of whether this conference room is located in a house of worship; inside a corporation’s headquarters; at a government facility or on the campus of a university, the solution will likely be similar. Though the configuration and user experience might change slightly, for the most part, these vertical markets are quite similar.

surgery simulation room finalHowever, with the healthcare industry, this is not the case. For the medical and healthcare vertical market planning, system design, integration and managed support can be quite different than it is in education, government, corporate or house of worship markets. Although each vertical market has idiosyncrasies, slightly altering the design of systems, there are substantial factors that are unique to the healthcare market, creating areas of expertise for healthcare-centric integration firms. These firms have a deeper understanding of important healthcare and medical considerations, such as patient privacy and treatment center construction best practices. This familiarity allows certain integrators to distinguish themselves as premier healthcare facility solutions providers, for both large and small audiovisual systems.

When looking to integrate audiovisual systems, whether presentation, digital signage, patient-room display, videoconferencing or collaboration it is best to partner with a solutions provider with an impressive portfolio in the healthcare sector. Avidex has been a premier partner for doctors’ offices, healthcare facilities, hospitals, biopharmaceutical companies and universities in providing comprehensive audiovisual solutions tailored to healthcare applications. Solutions ranging from executive board rooms to state-of-the-art nursing laboratories, simulation facilities and seminar rooms in universities, hospitals and patient care facilities these specialized applications require tailored integrated solutions designed to train, develop and assist healthcare providers and educators. These integrated solutions encompass a broad range of audiovisual technologies that empower healthcare professionals to effectively communicate their message internally and externally as well as collaborate with colleagues around the world.

In order to best plan, design, integrate and support audiovisual solutions for medical facilities, doctors’ offices and patient care centers, a high degree of specialization in the market and familiarity with technology that is manufactured and used for healthcare AV is required. Avidex has formed strategic partnerships with premier healthcare-specific technology manufacturers, allowing designers and engineers to have access to the latest, cutting-edge, products available to the market. Our engineers examine these products and then our designers incorporate them into systems intended to give healthcare professionals unparalleled quality in their presentation, training and collaboration solutions.

Partnering with Avidex provides matchless experience in the healthcare sector. Regardless of the intended application, Avidex can plan, design, integrate and support systems capable of connecting people and ideas globally within the healthcare market. Presentation, training, remote patient interaction, streaming video and videoconferencing systems are highly utilized by healthcare facilities and require a deeper degree of involvement in patient care facilities than in other markets. Avidex leverages their partnerships with top-tier audiovisual and medical technology manufacturers to integrate systems that maximize functionality and offer a premium return on investment.

Shedan Maghzi

About Shedan Maghzi

Shedan Maghzi - Avidex President has been directly involved in the AV industry for over 25 years. Maghzi joined Avidex in February of 2004 as General Manager of Northern California. He later advanced into the position of Vice President of Avidex’s Fremont, CA office, one of the nation’s most successful audiovisual groups providing design, systems integration and support services. Maghzi has held a wide range of leadership positions in the AV industry including Project Manager, AV Consultant, Director of Technical Services and General Manager with leading San Francisco Bay Area audiovisual firms. Shedan can be reach at smaghzi@avidexav.com

Forward Thinking Trends Driving Video Content Management In Healthcare

Practitioner-Cart_Patient-Room_01a  Practitioner-Cart_Exam-Room_02a

This past week the American Telemedicine Association had their annual meeting and convention in Baltimore where a wide array of the leaders in the healthcare technology space assembled to collaborate with healthcare technology managers on what is next for Telemedicine.

Reportedly, one of the hot topics this year was the application of Telemedicine as a vehicle for not only patient care, but for wellness and preventative medicine. While preventative medicine has been a hot topic in the healthcare industry for a long time, the application of telemedicine to help facilitate this has been less clear.

This year from the show our partners at Polycom shared some terrific applications for not only video conferencing, but for video content management as part of a telemedicine practice to drive initiatives in wellness and prevention.

In a recent post from the event, 3 Trends in Video-Based Medical Education – Polycom shares 3 specific applications that are leading the way for video content management adoption within the telemedicine ecosystem. These applications include Patient Education, Practitioner Education and Population Management.

Think about how valuable a library of informative and educational videos could be for doctors, nurses, patients, and loved ones dealing with a plethora of healthcare related topics?

For healthcare organizations interested in learning more about how video can be captured, organized and made available for your patients and staff, the team at Avidex is pleased to help. Get in touch to find out what is out there that can push your organization forward.

Bob Higginbotham

About Bob Higginbotham

Bob Higginbotham, CTS-I, CTS-D, is the Avidex National Manager of Healthcare AV. Bob has spent his 30 year career in leadership positions in the AV industry including extensive design and build work in healthcare facilities. He owned and operated a successful AV business in Texas with multiple offices in several cities where he managed a staff of over 100 employees. Bob has served as a technical consultant for a major AV manufacturer, led the technical sales team for a national video conferencing provider and provided technology auditing services for several private education facilities. He has a unique working knowledge of audiovisual technology as well as multiple certifications in audio engineering, acoustics, AV design, CQT system commissioning and video transmission systems. Bob holds a BA in communications and has recently served as board chair for a large private school. He brings his years of technical knowledge and leadership experience to Avidex where he leads the national healthcare AV team. Contact Bob at bobh@avidexav.com

Week 3-Sound-Masking-White-Noise-System-with-Software

CONSTRUCTION COST SAVINGS AND HIPAA COMPLIANCE- Significant construction cost reduction using sound masking

According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, patient information must be kept between the patient and their doctor. This sounds simple enough. The doctors involved should be professional enough not to discuss their patients and the problems they have with anyone who isn’t directly treating them. Problem solved. Unfortunately, there’s more to it than that.

HIPAA Compliance

What if someone else overhears a sensitive conversation? Someone walking by an open door might hear the news that a particular patient has cancer. If the walls are thin, someone in the next room could hear an entire conversation about a patient’s medications. But that can’t be helped, right? Well, according to HIPAA, it can be, and it must be.

So what’s the solution? When building a new facility for the purposes of healthcare, you need to make sure it’s designed to thwart eavesdropping, even the accidental kind. It’s not just hospitals and medical facilities, either. Universities, life insurance offices, billing agencies, information systems vendors, and a host of other businesses and organizations must all be outfitted for HIPAA compliance.

For many facilities, this means soundproofing. But soundproofing is a tradeoff. You can either do it cheaply, or you can do it effectively. If you do it right, it’s going to be very expensive. Everything from the panels on the walls to the carpeting to the insulation in the ceiling needs to be specifically designed to block out noise. Because of this, soundproofing just a single room can cost several thousand dollars, much less an entire building. And if you cut corners, the soundproofing won’t effectively prevent others from hearing conversations, and your facility will no longer be HIPAA compliant. Fortunately, there’s an easier way to ensure patient privacy: sound masking.

Sound Masking and Construction Cost Savings

Sound masking is the act of inserting additional sounds, such as white noise, into an environment in order to block other noises. Some people use sound masking to reduce ambient noise and help them to sleep. But it has a number of other potential applications, not the least of which is ensuring privacy for sensitive conversations.

Sound masking devices can be specifically tuned to the portion of the sound spectrum that includes human speech, in order to target and block out voices without affecting other types of sound, which may still need to be heard. It’s installed subtly into the ceiling, allowing the masking sounds to filter down into the room, making them unobtrusive while still maintaining their effectiveness at blocking out conversation from elsewhere.

In addition to privacy, sound masking has also been shown to affect an increase in workplace productivity. By blocking out ambient noise, the system reduces distractions, allowing employees to concentrate better and become up to 20% more productive.

Most importantly, however, sound masking is considerably cheaper than soundproofing. A sound masking system can be installed in every room of your healthcare facility, greatly saving on construction costs while ensuring HIPAA compliance.

Patient privacy is an essential aspect of healthcare in all its forms. But staying within budget and reducing construction costs is a concern as well. If you can afford quality, effective soundproofing for every room, you may choose to go that route. But sound masking is a much cheaper and just as effective way to ensure HIPAA compliance.

Bob Higginbotham

About Bob Higginbotham

Bob Higginbotham, CTS-I, CTS-D, is the Avidex National Manager of Healthcare AV. Bob has spent his 30 year career in leadership positions in the AV industry including extensive design and build work in healthcare facilities. He owned and operated a successful AV business in Texas with multiple offices in several cities where he managed a staff of over 100 employees. Bob has served as a technical consultant for a major AV manufacturer, led the technical sales team for a national video conferencing provider and provided technology auditing services for several private education facilities. He has a unique working knowledge of audiovisual technology as well as multiple certifications in audio engineering, acoustics, AV design, CQT system commissioning and video transmission systems. Bob holds a BA in communications and has recently served as board chair for a large private school. He brings his years of technical knowledge and leadership experience to Avidex where he leads the national healthcare AV team. Contact Bob at bobh@avidexav.com

Dr coming out of Computer screen

How Healthcare Is Following The Tech Industry In A Good Way

Finding Advancement for Health Care in the Progression of the Tech Industry.

Perhaps you remember how in the 1980’s the world of information technology was entrenched in closed architecture. Hardware, networks and system design were all closed down and had almost no ability to talk to systems outside of themselves

Can you imagine how that would look in today’s connected society?

For the medical industry there has been a lot of similar trends to the tech industry of the 80’s. Systems have come online in a closed capacity and have had little if any integration with other systems. This has made the idea of ubiquitous healthcare seem impossible, but there appears to be hope.

In a recent Huffington Post article – How Today’s Healthcare Industry Resembles the Tech Industry of the 1980s, and Why That Gives Me Hope, there is a great story on how the healthcare industry is following the tech industry in terms of embracing technologies such as open standards, cloud, mobile and more.

This transition is going to open up doors for healthcare providers to design and implement solutions not only for medical records but also for healthcare communication. Trends such as telemedicine where doctors use technology to collaborate will become simpler to implement and utilize in a system where client information can be easily shared in a secure environment.

At Avidex we work every day with healthcare organizations to advance the way they’re using technology to better communicate. If your organization is looking for this type of help, we’d love to hear from you. Contact information can be found at AvidexAV. In the meantime, check out the article on Huff Post and let us know what you think.

To read the article provided by the Huff Post click here

Jim Colquhoun

About Jim Colquhoun

Jim Colquhoun is the Chief Technologist for Avidex. Jim brings an exceptional record of management and operational experience, as well as expertise in the design and integration of communications, AV, and broadcast systems. Jim can be reached at jcolquhoun@avidexav.com

Federation of State Medical Boards Recognize Telemedicine As In-Person Consult

Photo from Vidyo Brandon Berg sid I could use     Vidyo_Mercy_Image_2_web

For as long as high quality video conferencing has been available the healthcare industry has seen potential.

The discussions around telemedicine have long been met with a certain stagnation as the healthcare world, which is riddled with regulation has seen one challenge after another in gaining wide adoption of the invaluable capabilities that telemedicine can bring.

One of the long known challenges of adoption has been the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) who until April of 2014 did not recognize video consultations (Telemedicine) as equal to an in person consult. With this change of policy by the FSMB the doors have been opened up for telemedicine and what it can do to help connect doctors and patients more readily using telemedicine.

In an article featured on Forbes Vidyo Gets The Jump On Next Generation Telemedicine: But What About Cisco Systems And Polycom? by one notable healthcare technology analyst, he believes that this change will really open the flood gates for healthcare systems who have been considering adoption of expansion of healthcare based video consultations.

One of the other important ideas noticed in the article was the importance of a streamlined software that allows for easy implementation of telemedicine to standard mobile device operating systems such as Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.

Companies like Vidyo have shown leadership in this development, but Cisco and Polycom are also obvious contenders for taking a leadership role in this space.

What is becoming more and more apparent is that Telemedicine is finding its way into more and more healthcare systems. The ultimate technology winner is still to be determined and that is why at Avidex we partner with many of the leading telemedicine solution providers; so we can focus on the need of our partners and then deploy accordingly.

Is your organization adopting or exploring telemedicine? We’d love to help you in your journey from information gathering through deployment. Just let us know how we can help? Visit our website at www.avidexav.com.

To read the article provided by Forbes click here.

 

Joel Harris

About Joel Harris

Joel Harris brings invaluable insight to the Avidex team in his role as CEO, with years of experience leading national technology, healthcare and business organizations. You can reach Joel at jharris@avidexav.com

computer with dr and stethascope

Healthcare Consumers Ready For Technology

New Cisco Study Shows Patients Overwhelming Ready For Technology In Healthcare

One of the interesting debates that has continued in the healthcare space has been just how willing are patients to have their healthcare taken care of via digital means?

For the longest time patient care has been done via direct engagements between the patient and the doctor providing a feeling of privacy and confidence in the doctors diagnosis and recommendations for treatment.

Technology is changing that.  According to a Cisco Customer Experience Report for Healthcare, patients are more ready than ever for technology driven healthcare. In fact, 70% of patients say they are comfortable with their healthcare communications being done via technology, including 19% who would actually prefer a video consult over a live doctor visit.

Check out the article below for a great infographic providing visual data of the new technology aware patient and their growing comfort with technology as a means of delivering healthcare services.

If you are a technology professional in the healthcare space and you are interested in learning more about how technology can drive your organization forward, the team at AvidexAV would love to help.

Click here to see the infographic provided by Cisco

Shedan Maghzi

About Shedan Maghzi

Shedan Maghzi - Avidex President has been directly involved in the AV industry for over 25 years. Maghzi joined Avidex in February of 2004 as General Manager of Northern California. He later advanced into the position of Vice President of Avidex’s Fremont, CA office, one of the nation’s most successful audiovisual groups providing design, systems integration and support services. Maghzi has held a wide range of leadership positions in the AV industry including Project Manager, AV Consultant, Director of Technical Services and General Manager with leading San Francisco Bay Area audiovisual firms. Shedan can be reach at smaghzi@avidexav.com

Woman on computer with dr image

Healthcare Shifts From Patient Model to Consumption Model

In a world where people are more informed than ever before the patterns of purchase behavior are changing and they are affecting not just the way we buy products, but the way we consume services as well.

Healthcare is also feeling this shift as patients move away from the “patient mindset” and become consumers or users of healthcare.

Technology is leading this transition, as we are now more acutely monitoring our health with wearable devices that track our exercise and food consumption. Mobile applications and patient portals that give us direct access to information about ourselves that we could not have imagined just a few years ago augment these devices.

Other technologies such as telehealth and video conferencing that are completely changing the healthcare experience can be found in the meeting spaces and operating rooms throughout hospitals and healthcare facilities.  Such technologies make it possible for patients and doctors to connect faster and doctors and specialists to collaborate in real time to solve important health care problems.

In this article “A Consumer View of Healthcare Reforms and IoE driven Healthcare IT Innovations” Cisco goes deep into how “The Internet of Everything” is changing the entire consumption experience of healthcare services. Learn more by reading the article and if you are interested in changing the way your organization communicates check out more from AvidexAV. To read the full Cisco article click here.

Bob Higginbotham

About Bob Higginbotham

Bob Higginbotham, CTS-I, CTS-D, is the Avidex National Manager of Healthcare AV. Bob has spent his 30 year career in leadership positions in the AV industry including extensive design and build work in healthcare facilities. He owned and operated a successful AV business in Texas with multiple offices in several cities where he managed a staff of over 100 employees. Bob has served as a technical consultant for a major AV manufacturer, led the technical sales team for a national video conferencing provider and provided technology auditing services for several private education facilities. He has a unique working knowledge of audiovisual technology as well as multiple certifications in audio engineering, acoustics, AV design, CQT system commissioning and video transmission systems. Bob holds a BA in communications and has recently served as board chair for a large private school. He brings his years of technical knowledge and leadership experience to Avidex where he leads the national healthcare AV team. Contact Bob at bobh@avidexav.com

Avidex Mobile AV Cart no background

The Portable AV Meeting Room

Hospitals everywhere continue to look for ways to maximize profits by cutting costs, increasing flexibility and enhancing their return on investment (ROI) when planning technology upgrades. Not every organization has the budget to equip each existing meeting space or training room with a fully integrated presentation and/or videoconferencing solution. A low risk/high reward move many hospitals are making is transitioning to “AV systems on wheels” or portable audio visual (AV) systems that can be used in many rooms if desired.

Portable AV systems can fulfill the need for presentation, white-boarding, annotating, videoconferencing and/or recording for most small to medium sized rooms. Power and data connections are required at each location where the system will be used, but everything else can be contained on the cart to maximize portability and efficiency in operation. Portable systems can be designed to support a variety of applications in different locations throughout a Hospital, Clinic or Medical Office Building. Whether your need is to host a training session, give a presentation, consult with clinicians at other locations, or interact with patients remotely, these mobile solutions maximize equipment utilization and positively impact the bottom line.

Historically, portable AV systems have been limited in the applications they supported. The more full featured carts were difficult to move and were obtrusive. Cart manufacturers have improved their products and are now making elegant and robust carts that are easy to operate and maneuver. Portable AV carts are now capable of supporting a wide range of products and solutions, making them a smart alternative to traditionally installed AV systems. They can be as simple as a flat panel display on a rolling stand with computer connection cords, or as complex as multiple monitor systems with fully integrated control, switching and videoconferencing.

Utilizing portable audio visual systems reduces capital investments by eliminating costly labor needed for cable pulling, conduit, floor cores, wall backing and power in the walls behind wall mounted displays. Maintenance costs are lower when compared to installed AV systems. Portability reduces the total number of systems your facility needs to purchase. Project turnaround time is usually faster with portable systems. When multiple carts are involved, an economy of scale is leveraged to further reduce costs. A standardized push button control pad is provided on each cart which provides a simple and familiar user experience, particularly for users who need to use the portable carts in various locations.

As you consider installing AV systems in your facility, consider the benefits of portable systems: reduced initial investment, flexibility and lower infrastructure and reoccurring maintenance costs when compared with permanently installed integrated AV systems.

Jeff Miller

About Jeff Miller

Jeff has been working in the professional AV integration industry for over twenty years. During that time he has served as Designer, Project Manager and/or Account Executive for hundreds of projects. As an Account Executive at Avidex, he specializes in Medical, Education, and Control Rooms. He can be reached at jmiller@avidex.com