Monthly Archives: August 2014

What New Entrants Need To Know About Telemedicine

patient watching videoWith an expected compound growth rate of 14% and an estimated annual jump of users to more than 7 million by 2018, the telemedicine market has a lot of reasons for businesses serving healthcare to get excited.

However, for companies interested in playing ball in the telemedicine space, it is important that they pay attention to a few very important things, or they may find themselves left out in the cold.

In a recent piece featured in Entrepreneur – 3 Keys to Seizing Opportunity in the Booming Telemedicine Space, one of the leading minds in the field of telemedicine shared his observation on the keys for new market entrants in the field of telemedicine. He boiled it down to 3.

First, he points to the regulatory environment. While the benefits of telemedicine are apparent, regulations must be taken into consideration when rolling out any telemedicine services.

Second, education must be a focus. For instance, some may see the technology required for telemedicine to be simple and straightforward. But this may not be the case for all users and/or buyers.

Third and perhaps most interesting was the call to embracing the small network that comprises the healthcare industry. The author implied that working closely and networking with other healthcare professionals to share the vision of telemedicine has tremendous value.

One thing is for sure, the telemedicine industry in on the rise and there is much to be excited about.

At Avidex AV we work closely with healthcare providers across the United States to deliver technology and telemedicine solutions that meet the demanding and ever changing needs of the healthcare industry. Get in touch to see how we can help your organization thrive.

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

Telemedicine: Much To Like About This Technology

While the adoption rate is growing, the fact is, the term Telemedicine has been around for a long time. So what makes it innovative?

For as long as there have been phones, there has been an ability for patients to connect with their doctors and nurses to get questions answered and some immediate help if required. Isn’t that pretty much telemedicine?

Perhaps at the very surface this is the case, but telemedicine really offers so much more and it is this “More” that makes it truly innovative.

One expert on the subject, Craig Hasday, writes about some of the great innovative differences between old school calling the doctor and telemedicine. In his article, Telemedicine: An Innovative Healthcare Trend, he shares how telemedicine allows for real consults and the prescription of medicine. This difference alone eliminates time away from work as well as people having to be exposed to illness in the doctor’s office.

These services can be great for seniors, people lacking mobility and as the article goes on to explain it can even help in student health centers. One such case found 70% of student needs could be taken care of using telemedicine.

Telemedicine is without a doubt an innovative approach to healthcare, and there is sure is a lot to like about that!

At Avidex AV we seek to help our healthcare clients innovate using the best that technology has to offer. Specializing in telehealth and telemedicine, we serve healthcare organizations around the United States. Contact us to see how we can help.

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

How Critical Information On Displays Is Used Throughout Healthcare Facilities

display in op roomHealthcare is a field that hinges upon the timely, efficient exchange of information. Doctors need to get information from their patients about health problems, and then they need to provide the patients with information about how they can recover from those problems. In order for a healthcare facility to operate smoothly, doctors, nurses, and administrators have to be able to seamlessly exchange information with each other. Increasingly, healthcare professionals are finding success using displays in healthcare facilities to make transmitting critical information to the right parties more efficient.

Displays For Patient Health Monitoring

Using displays in healthcare facilities for patient monitoring is a long-standing practice, but recent advancements in technology have made displays much more efficient at showing healthcare providers the information they need. Many displays are dynamic and can be scaled up or down depending on the particular patient care situation. As wireless technology grows, patient health displays are also becoming more portable, which is excellent for allowing doctors to get more things done with the limited hours that they have to work.

In-Room Displays For Hospital Patients

Another big advantage of using displays in healthcare facilities is that they can provide doctors and nurses with the ability to get key information about patients with a single glance at a display in their room. Customizable digital displays can be used to show a patient’s name, diagnosis, medication schedule, and any notes made by previous caregivers. These kinds of displays make it easy for patients that are staying in a hospital or long-term care facility to get treatment by multiple providers without any critical information slipping through the cracks.

Displays To Provide Patients With Information

Healthcare professionals are not the only ones that can benefit from using displays in healthcare facilities to get information. Displays that are set up properly in a facility can be used to give patients and their loved ones information in several ways:

• Navigation: large facilities like hospitals are often difficult to navigate. Display solutions can be used to provide directions to the exact places that patients and their families need to go, which can reduce hallway traffic and lower the burden placed on help desk professionals.
• Treatment information: when patients need to get detailed information about how to take care of themselves, displays can help by giving them an interactive method of learning about the right way to administer self-treatment.
• Updates on the facility status: if a certain area or clinic of the facility is experiencing a heavy amount of traffic or is going to be closed for renovations, using displays in healthcare facilities is an excellent way to transmit this information to people that need to know about it.

As display technology continues to advance, its applications in providing information for doctors and their patients will grow even more robust. It is very important that healthcare facilities not only have a display system set up properly, but also have the resources needed to keep these displays running at a high level so that patients and doctors can get the information that is required to make healthcare faster and more effective.

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

Experts Weigh In On How Technology and Telemedicine Can Help Older People

The population is aging, and as obvious as that may seem, a large part of the boomer population is quickly nearing retirement. With this change of lifestyle, it is important that this large demographic stays physically and mentally active and connected by technology.

Wait, did we say connected by technology?

While activity is obvious and has long been linked to longer lives, the technology part seems to have been slipped in there carefully as if not to be noticed. For a long time the perception has been that the aging population strays from new technology because it is uncomfortable for them as they’re used to things a certain way and have hit an age where change isn’t of interest.

But what if technology could make things better, easier or could even help retirees live longer more meaningful lives?

In a recent Wall Street Journal article - What Technology Product Would Be the Biggest Help to Older People? – several experts and former executives weigh in on how technology could best serve the aging population. Discussions involved topics like improving healthcare, use of robots and productivity tools that could make the biggest impact for this group.

Of the 4 experts that weighed in 2 specifically chose to speak on the topic of Telehealth, Telemedicine and remote patient care. For the aging population they felt it was particularly important to leverage technology to get retirees the care they need without asking as much of them physically.

This trend just further reiterates how important telemedicine is going to be in the future, as more people need more immediate care.

What about you, what do you think the most important technology for retirees is going to be?

At Avidex we work with healthcare organizations to provide technology that enhances the lives of those that they serve. From telehealth to audio and video solutions, we work side by side to deliver the results our clients need. Can we help you? Let’s connect and find out!

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

Telemedicine Is Key To Big Savings In Healthcare

money and stethascopeOne of the truly great things about technology investments are that they are rarely purchased purely for technology, but rather as a means to running healthier, stronger and more profitable organizations.

So while the initial investment may cause organizations to take pause, often times the ability for the technology to drive greater profits through enhanced revenues or cost reductions makes the investment more than worthwhile.

In the healthcare industry, it turns out that this is the case; especially when it comes to Telemedicine.

As we all know, the delivery of healthcare is expensive. This cost puts pressure on insurers, healthcare organizations and perhaps more than any other, on the consumer.  Just about anytime we have to go visit the doctor we have to think long and hard about what it might cost us. But isn’t this something that technology can help?

In a recent article on “Health and Data Management” there is an exploration into how much out of pocket cost could be saved for consumers through the use of Telemedicine. As it turns out, the numbers are large; in fact 6 billion large according to global professional services company Towers Watson.

This statistic alone is encouraging, however the biggest hurdle noted in the article is challenges for healthcare organizations to get reimbursed, which is currently seeing improvement after AMA sent guidance on how reimbursement should be handled.

At Avidex AV we work closely with our healthcare partners to implement the technology that helps drive more productive organizations. Let’s connect to find out how we can help your organization advance into the future.

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

Telemedicine applications in schools: faster treatment, better care and diagnosis speeds up the healing process

video conf Dr at schoolHealthcare technology is a rapidly developing field, especially when that technology impacts the well-being of students. In an effort to improve the way that students learn as well as the environment in which they learn, many schools are utilizing the power of telemedicine, a term that refers to the exchanging of medical images used for patient treatment through electronic communications. Telemedicine applications in schools are extremely useful for improving treatment speeds, providing better diagnoses and medical care, and speeding up patient recovery.

Examples And Benefits Of Telemedicine Applications In Schools

The primary benefit of any type of healthcare delivered remotely is that it makes consultation  between two parties easier. In the medical world, a place where the dissemination of information is vital for success, telemedicine plays a key role. Telemedicine applications in schools are already widespread:

  • Telemedicine is often used by schools that need to get immediate help from doctors but have no way of getting students that need attention to these doctors because of the physical distance between the school and the doctor’s office. With telemedicine, treatment can be rendered much faster.
  • Telemedicine can also be used to diagnose psychological conditions in students. Ryan Spaulding, director of the University of Kansas Medical Center’s Telemedicine & Telehealth Center, says that issues like autism and ADHD are being treated with telemedicine because of the shortage of child psychiatrists and psychologists in the United States.
  • Telemedicine is also making it less challenging for parents to get involved with the care of their children. In rural America there are many families that don’t have access to transportation and they rely on the school bus to ferry their kids to and from school.  If  the students are able to see a doctor, and not leave school, that is a big benefit. It is much easier for a parent to take a video call to talk with the school nurse about their child’s illness than it is for them to take time away from work to travel to the school and receive this information in person.

Telemedicine is especially helpful for rural schools with students that need help from a specialist. If a student has a specific disorder such as asthma, a pulmonologist can see the diminished lung capacity in real time when the student uses the on-site spirometer.  In addition to determining the activity level for the school day or the immediate need to transport to a hospital, a doctor can show the student the proper way to use their inhaler. Telemedicine applications in schools allow these students to get treatment, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to. In 2011, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reported that telemedicine was even being used to monitor the vitals of children attending school in Rochester, New York. By using instruments linked to computers, telehealth assistants were able to listen to the hearts and lungs of children at the school and render an image of their ears and eyes.

The Future Of Telemedicine Applications In Schools

Telemedicine is already a popular option for healthcare in schools, but reports show that the field is set to grow rapidly. In January, global information company IHS reported that between 2013 and 2018, the global telehealth market is projected to grow by a factor of ten. For students and their parents, this growth means that telemedicine applications in schools will become more accessible and more efficient for serving the medical needs of children. As technology related to telemedicine continues to advance, students in schools around the world will be able to get greater access to medical care that helps them get better treatment in a more timely manner.

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

The Rapid Growth In Virtual Doctor Visits

ipad with xraysWith a rapidly growing boomer population and an almost entirely overhauled healthcare system, the way healthcare is going to be delivered in the coming years is bound to change. It has to.

The new system is putting pressure on the system to find ways to cut costs while making care more accessible to the masses. This type of strain makes it very difficult for the healthcare system to do more, especially when in many cases, they are being asked to accomplish it with less.

What this means is that healthcare systems are going to have to turn their attention to cost control and improved services and once again what will come to the rescue? Technology!

According to a recent article in CIO – “Almost One in Six Doctor Visits Will be Virtual This Year “- it was determined that 1 in 6 doctors visits in 2014 will be done virtually. Doing so will save an estimated 5 billion dollars versus the cost of traditional in office patient visits.

eVisits can provide a range of services from capturing patient information to direct interaction via video conferencing including use of mobile devices like iPads and tablets. And according to Deloitte if eVisits could address even 30-40% of the market it could equate to 50-60 billion dollars in cost savings or containment.

This perfect storm of technology and cost savings are perhaps best said, just what the doctor ordered!

At Avidex we work to create solutions that take into considerations the most pressing needs of our healthcare clients. From telemedicine to training spaces, we apply the best of audio, video, and collaboration technologies that meet your most pressing business needs. Let’s connect to see how we can help your organization maximize its technology.

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

Important Considerations for Picking a Telehealth Partner

practitioner-cart-lg-1At this point the growth of technology-enabled healthcare has become almost inevitable. With support from the largest industry associations including the American Medical Association, it is safe to say, telemedicine and telehealth are turning a corner in their adoption curve.

So now that the technology acceptance phase has reached critical mass, the next question that healthcare organizations may want to ask is, “Whom should we partner with for our telemedicine deployments?”

When it comes to technology, most who have been through any number of project lifecycles knows that it is rare that a project goes smooth from end to end. Problems can come about in the product selection, project management, training or even the post sales service.

In order to avoid problems throughout the project process, choosing the right partner is a critical consideration. With healthcare’s future leaning heavily on the integration and use of video collaboration, what should healthcare providers be looking for in a partner? We know how important partnership is, in fact, our friends at Polycom provide some interesting insights on the topic that we would love to share with our readers. Check out this article found on the Polycom “View” – The Future of Healthcare is about Collaboration.

What are the keys to successful partnerships for your organization?

At Avidex we believe in closely partnering with our healthcare clients to provide the best in telemedicine solutions as well as audio, video and other collaboration solutions. Connect with us to find out how we can help your organization with its technology needs.

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

Are cloud based solutions right for the healthcare environment?

Doctor cloudThe tech industry today is abuzz with information about the cloud: what it is, how it is being developed and implemented, and why it matters. In the complex world of healthcare, many doctors and administrators are still unsure about what the cloud is and whether or not it can help them do their work. Because of the nature of the medical field and the already-existing applications for cloud technology, cloud based solutions and the healthcare industry are very well suited for each other.

The Cloud’s Current Position In Healthcare

Reports and research show that the cloud is already being harnessed regularly in the healthcare field. Markets and Markets, a research firm based in Texas, projects that by 2017 the global healthcare cloud computing market will be worth $5.4 billion. M&M further reports that many HCOs are setting aside money to migrate their systems to the cloud in the next five years. Adoption is happening quickly: in a more recent Forbes Article, Louis Columbus references data indicating that 83% of IT executives say they already use cloud services.

An article in CIO also points to the rise of cloud use in the healthcare field: Brian Eastwood writes about a 31% rise between 2012 and 2013 in the use of the cloud for storing personal health information. It is clear that the cloud is present and on the rise in healthcare, but healthcare professionals looking to truly understand the connection between healthcare and the cloud also have to examine why the cloud is entering the field at such a rapid rate.

Why The Cloud And Healthcare Are Perfect For Each Other

Cloud based solutions and the healthcare industry make sense together primarily because of the way that the cloud stores and provides access to data, which is an integral process in the medical field. There are many healthcare applications where cloud solutions can make information access easier and more streamlined than traditional methods:

  • Managing payment and financial data: the cloud makes it much easier for administrators across an entire healthcare facility or system of facilities to access and edit financial data, which makes accounting procedures less difficult to manage
  • Backup and disaster recovery: in case of a major natural disaster or other event that wreaks havoc on a healthcare facility’s on-site computing systems, cloud solutions will make recovery much easier
  • Clinical data and applications: this is a huge reason that cloud based solutions and the healthcare industry are a good match. Cloud solutions mean that doctors and their staff can access clinical tools used for patient care from any location, which makes it easier to review patient records, make notes about treatment options, and provide more accurate diagnoses

Although it is clear that cloud based solutions and the healthcare industry will work well together, there are hurdles to this union. Some network administrators express concern over potential challenges with security and HIPAA compliance that the cloud might pose. Regardless of these obstacles, current data and future projections indicate that cloud based solutions and the healthcare industry are going to be closely connected for many years into the future.

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

New FDA Guidelines Put Mobile Video Carts Within Reach Without The Red Tape

Week 2 photo polycom practitioner cartFor any organization that has been servicing the medical community, it almost goes without saying that “The O.R.” is sacred ground.

Without explicit permission from the FDA nothing goes in to the O.R. And for many reasons this is a very, very good thing.

However, with the rapid proliferation of technology, especially technology that can be used to enhance care during both routine and emergency procedures, sometimes these strict regulations can limit the accessibility to important technology or at very least delay its availability while often times driving up costs as timely approvals can make the process consuming both time consuming and financially burdensome.

One of the specific products that have seen an uptick in use in the O.R. has been the video conferencing cart. Better known throughout the industry as Telemedicine, this technology is being used to improve health and patient outcomes and it is because of this that the FDA is going to cease its enforcement of certain regulatory controls that apply to these systems; often packaged as carts for easy use and mobility.

The new guidance – New MDDS guidance reduces regulatory hurdles for developers – was designed to not only lower restrictions on Telemedicine carts, but for a wide number of low risk digital medical devices that are low risk to patients and integral to improving the delivery of healthcare.

We believe that this is very exciting news for the delivery of digital based support and imaging in the O.R.

At Avidex AV we work side-by-side with our clients to deliver successful business outcomes through the deployment of the technology solutions that truly bring their businesses forward.  How can we help your business? Let’s connect and find out!

Anthony Paoletti

About Anthony Paoletti

Anthony brings over 23 years of audiovisual experience and has worn nearly every "hat" in the industry; from Consultant to End User; Account Representative to Install Technician; Project Manager to Systems Engineer. Contact Anthony at apaoletti@avidexav.com