Monthly Archives: July 2014

Sutter Health CEO Sheds Light On The Future of Healthcare

Perhaps no other topic has been discussed and debated over the past few years more than healthcare.

No matter your stage of life or what you do for a living, access to quality healthcare is an important issue and while certain steps have been taken over the past several years to improve the system, there is most certainly a ways to go before it will be optimized.

At Avidex AV, we have an entire division of our business dedicated to the healthcare industry because we see the way technology is shaping the industry. This is precisely why we love to learn, listen and share to the great minds that are talking about how the healthcare system can be improved. And by improvement, we mean more than just the technology; we mean the industry as a whole.

Recently, we came across a great online conversation with Patrick Fry, CEO of Sutter Health on Forbes. In this interview, Fry was challenged to answer questions about the future of healthcare. Topics such as how can we solve waste in the healthcare system, how do we improve care without cost, what impact will mobility have on the industry and what may the industry as a whole look like by 2025?

As an industry veteran and experienced CEO, Fry provided thoughtful feedback that wonderfully summed up so many questions that executives throughout the healthcare industry have.  For all of our readers out there, we felt this was one of those pieces that you shouldn’t miss and as we continue to find them, it will be with great pleasure that we pass them along.

For more great insights from this interview that was originally seen on Forbes, you can click here – Visionary Healthcare Leaders: Patrick Fry, Sutter Health CEO. To learn more about Avidex AV, and how we are working side by side with healthcare systems around the US to drive technology oriented solutions to yield better patient outcomes, check out our site AvidexAV.com or get in touch.

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

4K Video Resolution And What It Means To Healthcare

VAVideo communication plays an essential role in the medical field. Videoconferencing can be used to consult specialists on the opposite end of the globe, so that they can provide their expert medical opinion. Students can observe a medical procedure, even a complex surgery, live via video feed in the classroom, to give them a firsthand look at how it’s performed. But remote communication is only one use for video in the healthcare industry. It’s also an important diagnostic tool.

Video Diagnostics

Video imaging technology captures footage of the inside of a patient’s body and streams it to a screen on which a doctor can observe it. Whereas an X-ray provides a still, black and white photo, video imaging provides a live, full color, moving image of exactly what’s going on. Computed Tomography (CT) scans hone in on a specific portion of the body, producing images in slices using tomographic waves. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans can supplement these images by creating complete, moving, 3D pictures of the body’s processes.

The increased clarity provided by modern medical imaging tools improves the diagnostic process considerably and allows for faster, better treatment. And the clearer the image, the better look the doctor can get at the problem, and the faster and more accurately they can reach a diagnosis and determine a treatment. Because of this, 4K video resolution is essential for the healthcare industry.

4K Video Resolution

4K video resolution goes beyond the simple image clarity of HD. Used as video displays for corporate conferences, as well as very expensive state of the art home theaters, it’s sometimes referred to as “Ultra HD,” boasting a horizontal resolution of 4,000 pixels. It provides some of the clearest and most detailed images currently available with today’s technology, more than twice the resolution of 1080p.

But more than just a tool for wealthy movie aficionados, 4K video is the ideal resolution for the medical industry. It provides a complete, vivid, livestreamed video image of exactly what’s going on in the patient’s body, down to the cellular level. By creating a 3D image in this resolution, the doctor can view it from all sides, for a more complete diagnosis.

The one major issue with 4K video resolution in the medical field is the processing power that it requires. Streaming images of that size and quality, particularly for any length of time, requires a tremendous amount of memory, that the average medical computer isn’t capable of handling. However, as technology continues to progress, new equipment is being developed to accommodate the increased processing need and provide doctors with better, higher quality tools to improve their medical practice on a number of different levels.

The medical field is all about getting a glimpse into the human body. Sometimes this is done with a simple examination and diagnosing of symptoms. But other times, a doctor literally needs to be able to see what a patient’s body is doing. And the better they can see into their patient’s body, the better they can find out what’s going on, and treat them. 4K video resolution is the most advanced and efficient way of doing that. It’s revolutionizing both the video and medical fields. And it’s the closest thing we currently have to a live view of the inner workings of the human body.

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

Skilled Nurses Using Telepresence To Bridge An Important Healthcare Gap

As the aging population increases and more and more seniors move into skilled nursing facilities, the requirements for specialized care continue to increase.

With certain facilities within immediate reach of highly specialized physicians, around the clock care may seem manageable, but for many of these skilled nursing facilities where patient requirements can vary and timing is all but impossible to plan, proximity alone isn’t enough to make sure all of their bases are covered.

For healthcare organizations, having all of the specialties within your practice is rare, so for skilled nursing facilities, this can provide challenges to even those with hospitals close by.

This is why there is more and more talk about how telemedicine can serve the skilled nursing industry by making healthcare more accessible around the clock. Furthermore, the use of telemedicine can provide connections between patients and highly specialized doctors that may or may not be within a reasonable distance from the skilled nursing facility.

In a recent article found on McKnight’s, Expanding horizons to include telemedicine in skilled nursing facilities -  there was a specific mention of how difficult it is for older patients to travel distance to see a specialist and for many, the use of telemedicine as a means of providing healthcare may actually be preferred.  The article also references some comparative data against skilled nursing facilities that do not offer telemedicine as a service and it was found that in cases where telemedicine is utilized readmission rates see a significant decrease while patient satisfaction goes up.

At Avidex, we are committed to helping our healthcare partners utilize technology to enhance their telehealth and telemedicine practices so the main focus can be on running a productive healthcare organization that delivers the highest levels of patient care. To find out more about Avidex, connect with us (link) and find out how we can help you.

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

Video infrastructure- Are you ready for the coming demands of video communication on your network?

Video communication is becoming an increasingly integral part of modern business, including healthcare. From orientation videos to streaming video content to videoconferencing and remote collaborative projects, video is changing the way we interact with each other and with our technology. However, the vast, practically limitless potential of video communication comes with a tradeoff: an equally vast demand on your network.

streaming mediaDemands of Video Communication on Your Network

It’s estimated that video content currently accounts for over 90% of internet traffic. An hour’s worth of HD video takes up multiple gigabytes of memory. Just posting a brief video to YouTube requires a fair amount of bandwidth. Live streaming and recording an HD videoconference, which can often last over an hour, is a whole other ballgame than regular, non-video internet browsing.

Therefore, if you’re going to implement video into your company’s policies effectively, you need to make sure that your network is equipped to handle it. You need to ensure that you have the capacity to handle large chunks of high definition video at one time, uninterrupted. And you need to make sure you have the capacity to deliver high definition video to your audience, whether on a desktop computer, smartphone tablet, or any other kind of device, anywhere on the planet.

Budgeting Bandwidth for Video Communication

So, how much bandwidth does your network need in able to handle and accommodate video communication? That depends on your company and your usage. Sit down and plan out exactly how much video will be used in an average day, week, or month, and what you plan on using it for. Will you be uploading content to YouTube? Streaming live feeds of lectures and conferences to your employees? Making video calls? Performing 24 hour video surveillance? And how much of that will be done in HD, vs. standard definition?

There are worksheets and other tools online that can help calculate the demands of video communication on your network based on a variety of factors. Do the math and get an estimate of approximately how much memory you’ll be using on video in an average month, based on your current equipment’s capabilities and your estimated usage. Then, make sure that your network servers are prepared to handle a load that’s considerably higher than that. First of all, it’s important to err on the side of caution. Second of all, you need to prepare for growth.

The popularity, versatility, and overall prevalence of video communication are only going to increase over time. It’s best to equip yourself for that increased usage now, rather than being caught with your pants down a few months to a year from now, and facing slow connections, long load times, and choppy, poor quality video.

Determining the demands of video communication on your network will help you optimize that network and maintain the best possible video experience for your employees and your customers. As video communication becomes increasingly prevalent in today’s business world, poor quality video and slow load times will no longer be tolerated. Unless your network is able to keep up with your video usage, you’ll be left behind. But if you can meet the demands of video communication on your network, then from video content to videoconferencing, there’s no limit to what your organization can accomplish.

Jim Scalise

About Jim Scalise

Jim is the Avidex Systems Integrated Group Manager and has been in the AV industry for more than 20 years. Jim oversees and manages the integrated systems team and is directly involved in design, application, project and field engineering as well as sales, service and installation support. Contact Jim at jscalise@avidexav.com

Will Doctors Be Required To Be Licensed In Every State They Practice Telemedicine?

dr with a mapThis past June, the Chicago based American Medical Association published a set of recommended policies for the advancement of telemedicine. With growth in usage being imminent for the healthcare industry, this timely set of policies is designed to help healthcare organizations properly understand and utilize telemedicine as part of their growth strategies.

With their policy recommendations, the AMA also made it clear that they see the future of telepresence as important for providing new levels of access to healthcare while maintaining the highest standard of patient safety.

Perhaps one of the most interesting recommended policies that came from the AMA’s input was that doctors must be licensed in each state by which they work with patients. Meaning that if the doctor is in Colorado but the patient is in California, the doctor would need to be licensed in California in order to provide services.

This is certain to bring up a number of concerns among technology/telemedicine lobbying groups that are seeking to expand the adoption of healthcare. With such limitations, some of the benefits of connected care may be limited as is the choices for care providers for healthcare consumers.

One thing is for sure, as telemedicine continues to grow as an accepted healthcare practice, this topic is likely to be a hot one for debate as the benefits are weighed against the pitfalls of opening up borders (within the US) for healthcare systems and private practices.

Check out this article from The Washington Post Doctors must be licensed in patient’s state to practice telemedicine for more information.

At Avidex, we develop and implement technology to coincide with the growing demand for remote patient care as well as smarter hospital environments. Get in touch with our team to find out how we can help your healthcare organization meet its business and technology challenges.

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

AV Technology That Allows Live Video Remote Language Interpretation

ethnic dr on phoneMedicine is universal. The human body suffers the same diseases all over the globe, and a doctor can treat a set of symptoms regardless of language. However, it’s still necessary to communicate with the patient to understand those symptoms. So what do they do when a patient arrives who speaks a different language? Or if the patient is deaf, and communicates using sign language? How can the doctor understand them well enough to help them?

Federal law requires interpreters be available in all healthcare facilities to provide language services when necessary. However, an ordinary interpreter won’t do for such matters. They need a qualified medical interpreter. And there might not always be an interpreter on hand who not only understands medical matters, but also the specific language they’re being called to translate. Fortunately, there’s AV technology that allows live video remote language interpretation from anywhere in the world.

Remote Language Interpretation
Medical interpreters are an important and often rare commodity. They need a variety of certifications to practice and must meet other healthcare regulations. Finding someone who meets all of these qualifications and speaks the languages that you need is a difficult task. Finding them in the area where they’re needed may be challenging and it may also be impossible in emergency situations.

However, through videoconferencing, certified medical interpreters can be located anywhere in the world and brought in remotely to provide their services as if they were in the room. Many organizations have a variety of medical interpreters on call 24/7, ready to teleconference when needed. With the right equipment, they can provide their services through a laptop, tablet, or even a smartphone.

Medical Interpretation Applications
Mobile device applications can simplify the process of connecting with a medical interpreter who speaks a particular language. The doctor can simply select the language they need from a dropdown list and be instantly connected with a medical interpreter who speaks that language, on call from the interpreter provider. The camera allows the interpreter to connect visually with the patient and facilitate the translation process much better than a simple voice call would. And it’s particularly important for sign language calls, wherein it’s essential that the interpreter be face to face with the person that they’re interpreting for.

Remote medical interpreters don’t only need to be used for patients. Doctors from around the world are often called in to consult, or to perform complex procedures in which they specialize. Likewise, doctors from the United States often travel to impoverished nations to provide much needed medical treatment. The procedures themselves are universal, but they still need to be able to communicate with the other doctors and healthcare professionals in the area, about complex medical issues. Remote language interpretation services can facilitate consultation with the best doctors in the world, no matter what language they speak.

Videoconferencing tools break down physical barriers by allowing people to talk face to face, even on opposite sides of the globe. But now, those same tools can also break down language barriers, helping those people to understand one another, no matter what language they speak. And in the medical community, the breaking down of those barriers can save lives.

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

How Telemedicine Can Transform Healthcare

Perhaps many years ago the idea of meeting your doctor or having an exam done over the Internet seemed improbable. Even though video technology has been connecting people face to face over long distances for nearly 40 years (Hard to believe, we know!), as a mainstream part of our lives, it is relatively a new thing.

That being said, when consumers of healthcare were asked about whether or not they would be comfortable doing remote medical consult, over 70%  (check out this article – How Telemedicine Can Be a Healthcare Innovation Like No Other) said they were comfortable with that.

Beyond just comfort, some of the key reasons why telemedicine is going to help reinvent the healthcare industry are its ability to give more access to healthcare while creating a potential cost saving that should impact consumers and healthcare organizations in a positive way.

One great example given in a recent Huffington Post article that discussed the potential of telemedicine is the way that its utilization can reduce readmission. Healthcare organizations understand the financial impact of readmission and many times the reason it is required is a poor delivery of after discharge care. With telemedicine this can be better monitored and the readmission rate can be reduced.

At Avidex, we seek to better understand the most challenging technology problems a healthcare organization is having, and then utilize the power of audio, video and communications technologies to solve them.  Are you looking for a partner in business and technology? Then let’s connect and see how we can help.

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

9 Benefits of Video Capture for Medical Schools

WSU Control Room1Technology is critical in healthcare. This is becoming increasingly true for medical schools where students learn skills needed to become productive healthcare professionals. Video capture systems are proving to be an effective way to enhance the teaching and learning process for several reasons:

Students Can Watch Procedures and Lectures Any Time
Class lectures and activities can easily be recorded and exported into various digital video formats via a variety of cameras and software programs available nowadays. Within minutes of a live recording, video can be encoded into a compressed video file format and stored on a computer server so that it can be played back by users with password protected access via laptops, tablets, or smart phones from anywhere with a network connection.

Instructors Can Watch Groups Simultaneously or Non-Linearly
Break-out activities and group work are common in medical schools. Video capture systems allow teachers to monitor one specific group or all groups in the activity, either live or after the exercise.

Professors Can Offer Feedback in Multiple Ways
Feedback from instructors during the video playback of an activity can be recorded onto another video during a debriefing session including instructor’s comments. Students can log on after class anytime and watch videos including their instructor’s comments. This reinforces the learning.

manicanVideo Clips Can Be Tagged For Quick Reference
Video clips can be saved and categorized to create a library of lectures and other instructional videos. They can be tagged based on their content, making them easy to search for later. This feature can also be used to organize a video-based study guide.

Large Groups Can Watch Procedures in Small Rooms
Many medical procedures are done in places like operating rooms and patient rooms where space is limited and fewer people in the room is preferred. With video capture technology, a delicate surgery or procedure can be shared with a group of students in a lecture hall, classroom or anywhere with a computer and internet access.

Institutions Can Thoroughly Monetize Their Teaching
A medical school only has so much physical space for students on campus. Video capture systems allow lectures, procedures, and clinical training to be shared with students who pay tuition for distance learning programs. This improves the return on investment in technology.

WSU-School-of-NursingHospitals Can Share Real-Life Medical Situations
Many medical schools have relationships with local hospitals. With video capture systems, hospitals can record actual medical cases and procedures that take place in the hospital and clinical environments. These videos can be shared with medical students to provide real world examples of what they are learning in class.

Instructors Can Critique Their Own Teaching
With such an involved curriculum, it can be tough for a professor to take a step back and evaluate their teaching style and methods. Using video in medical schools gives instructors this opportunity. They can watch their lectures and demonstrations to critique themselves, or watch videos from other professors to get tips and ideas on how to teach a certain concept or medical technique.

Students’ Parents Are More Engaged
Parents of students in medical school play a big role in the education of their child: Even if they are not financially supporting their child’s decision to attend medical school, they are still there for emotional support. Using video in medical schools means that parents can see what their children are learning and doing. This makes them more engaged with their children’s learning, which gives parents peace of mind. It can also provide a boost for donations.

Video capture systems are becoming more prominent and necessary in higher learning institutions. This is because it saves time, allows for learning from any location, and helps instructors improve their teaching abilities. These are just some of the ways we’ve seen video capture systems helping medical schools, professors, students and administrators. We’d love to hear how it might be helping you and/or how Avidex can help you leverage video and technology more effectively.

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