Monthly Archives: October 2014

Telemedicine Platform Builds Doctor-Patient Relationship

Today’s healthcare sector is going through an exciting phase. With telemedicine on the rise, changes have been made in medical diagnosis, care and treatment. As the next big wave in healthcare, telemedicine is being rapidly implemented by medical facilities across the U.S. while a greater focus, is being directed at making this treatment even more effective.

Recently PlushCare, a telemedicine company, has brought a couple of interesting concepts to the table. Understanding the need to replicate the traditional patient-doctor relationship in case of telehealth, PlushCare developed a virtual consultation platform that allows patients to form long-lasting relationships with their physicians. The telemedicine company also partnered with California School-based Health Alliance to launch an initiative called #Care4Care, which strives to provide check-ups, vaccinations and other important healthcare services to underprivileged children.

Patients tend to feel more comfortable if they see the same doctor. It is this familiarity that drives them to use a particular telemedicine service again and again. PlushCare observed this behavior during its three-month beta test and developed a virtual consultation platform that can be accessed from the patient’s desktop or smartphone. Virtually connecting patients with doctors trained at top med schools like Stanford and UCSF, this platform offers same-day diagnosis, treatment, and ad hoc prescriptions for emergency, chronic illnesses or health advice.

In addition to it’s virtual assets, this platform connects a patient directly with a doctor and ensures that during follow-up visits, they are attended to by the same doctor who is familiar with his or her medical history. Not only does this heighten the “feel-good” factor for the patients, it also creates a scope for better treatment as well.

PlushCare also offers lab test facilities through its partnerships with Lab Corp and Quest Diagnostics. It also can send electronic prescriptions to local pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreens, Safeway and Walmart.

PlushCare will start its operation in California before extending this service to other parts of the country.

Do you think this platform can replicate real-life doctor-patient relationships?

At Avidex AV we serve the healthcare industry with leading technology in telemedicine, telehealth and audio/video communication. Connect with us to find out how we can help your organization meet 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

A Review of Growth in Telehealth

Telehealth is being recognized as an effective method of treatment and healthcare throughout the world. With the rising demand for telehealth, medical fraternities and allied technology providers are looking for ways to make telehealth a better and more sustainable practice.

A recent article in HealthTechZone.com brings forth the present state of telehealth in the world. As one of the premier advocates of telehealth, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has been exploring the use of telehealth in order to provide veterans more effective and cost-efficient healthcare facilities. Latest stats revealed by the VA shows that telemedicine visits increased from 1.8 million in 2013, to 2 million this year.

Telehealth is playing a huge role in bringing better medical amenities to remote and impoverished regions that suffer from limited access to physical healthcare facilities. According to the VA, 55% of those who received medical assistance through telehealth were from rural areas that are miles away from VA medical centers.

Considering that the telehealth sector is expected to grow 10 times in the next 4 years, the need for better broadband support is slated to rise as well. Currently, rural healthcare providers (HCP) need to have better access to broadband speeds in order to communicate with patients and other medical staff for telehealth assistance. To improve this situation, Tim Koxlien, founder and CEO of Rural Health Telecom, says, “Upgrading rural healthcare provider broadband networks will be required.” As it relates to telecom accessibility, Koxlien states, “Two of the major challenges for healthcare providers are hardware installation costs and the lack of proper IT support.”

Interestingly, the private sector is also showing significant interest in telemedicine, not only from the business standpoint but also with the aim to add value to people’s lives. For instance, Google is launching a pilot telehealth program that will enable people to connect with medical professionals when they search for basic healthcare queries. Similarly, the Dutch consumer electronics giant, Philips, is partnering with a UN initiative to take telehealth to countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia with the aim to transform the lives of 100 million women and children by 2025.

With the growing use of telehealth, we are heading towards a promising future where expert-handled, cost-effective treatment will be accessible to one and all.

Do you think telehealth will gradually replace traditional healthcare as a cheaper and more effective healthcare method?

At Avidex AV, we seek to partner with healthcare organizations to deliver audio, video, collaboration and telemedicine solutions that drive innovation and improved efficiencies for our clients. Let’s connect to see how we can help your organization meet its technology needs.

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 Just Became Easier

Dr looking at computer with patientTelemedicine is rapidly sweeping the world of healthcare as a technique that can help different kinds of people get easier access to healthcare. For proponents of this practice, telemedicine just became easier, thanks to the integration of video conferencing and electronic medical records.

The Old Way: Separated Records And Video Conferences

Before this kind of integration, video conferences used to diagnose patients were valuable, but tough to incorporate with other healthcare records. Doctors and their staff members would have to conduct a manual write-up based on a telehealth appointment, then file that write-up into the patient’s other medical records. If things were lost in the time between the appointment and the recorded entry, there was a risk of critical medical information getting lost. Integration of video conferences and medical records has changed this technique.

The New Way: Video Files As Medical Records

More sophisticated integration between telehealth visits and medical records means telemedicine just became easier for doctors as well as patients. What specific kinds of benefits does this integration bring to the field of healthcare? There are several key advantages:

  • Doctors and nurses get to save a great deal of time because they do not have to block out some of their time to record information from their telemedicine appointment into a patient’s file. With newly integrated telemedicine platforms, doctors can simply save a video file into a patient’s records so that they are in the proper format. Most telemedicine systems take care of the formatting as well, which means healthcare providers never have to worry about incompatibility with electronic medical records. This also saves money for healthcare networks, since it means less work for employees
  • Because of this integration, patients can access video records more easily. This is important because of the frequency with which modern patients are now accessing their records online. Statistics show that in 2011, 80% of Internet users gathered health information using the Internet. Some of this information gathering includes accessing provider-created medical records using shared networks
  • Telemedicine also becomes more efficient because previous telehealth visits are recorded in a more prominent place. Now that video files can be integrated into electronic records, doctors who need to go back to past telehealth appointments can do so very easily since they can find them in patient records that they access all the time.

How To Capitalize On This Integration

While it is true that telemedicine just became easier because of the integration with electronic records, it is still critical for healthcare facilities to be able to use the right networks and systems to maximize their use of these integrated platforms. It is very important to get in touch with a capable AV integrator that can provide healthcare specialists with the tools necessary to both provide telehealth services and record their results effectively. With a proper system for telehealth and recordkeeping, healthcare providers that are sufficiently trained, and patients who understand the benefits of this integration, it will be much easier for telemedicine to have a positive impact in the healthcare field.

At Avidex AV, we seek to partner with healthcare organizations to deliver audio, video, collaboration and telemedicine solutions that drive innovation and improved efficiencies for our clients. Let’s connect to see how we can help your organization meet 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

Why Is Planning So Critical?

Benjamin Franklin in healthcare maskThe Benefits of AV/IT Planning for Healthcare Facilities

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail” is a quote that has been attributed to several different historical figures over the years, most notably the American founding father Benjamin Franklin. In healthcare, planning is even more critical and one of the most important activities that can be done by doctors, nurses, administrators and support personnel. In 24/7/365 environments where technologies intersect with the care of patients, the coordination and training of staff, and the collaboration of resources, planning healthcare AV/IT systems to meet the demanding needs of the industry is essential.

Saving Money

One of the biggest benefits of AV/IT planning for healthcare facilities and professionals is budget conservation. Technology is expensive and dollars are tight everywhere. The more time spent determining exactly how an organization will spend its budget on these types of projects, the easier it will be for them to develop a realistic budget and stay within it. Planning allows time to develop options that are the most cost effective based on current needs as well as the amount of money required to support the systems and allow for future growth and upgrades. A properly-planned AV/IT budget will also lead to less money being spent on a project.

Learning About New AV/IT Options

The development of technology moves quickly. Often times many options are available to accomplish the same thing, but which one is best? Besides the fiscal benefits of planning a healthcare AV/IT system carefully, technology planning also allows administrators responsible for implementing new IT and audiovisual systems to learn about the different types of software, hardware and cloud based solutions that may be applicable in their facilities or on their network. It is important to look behind the curtain. A hastily-executed installation of new AV/IT systems may lead to subpar solutions being installed, and disappointing results. With sufficient time spent researching all the necessary options of an AV/IT system before the project begins, those responsible for AV/IT implementation may be able to identify some groundbreaking technology, or something well tested, that helps resolve a specific challenge or issue at the facility.

Improving The Facility Upgrade Process

How do you make a decision with all the options available today? You know how to evaluate components, solutions, and maybe even companies, but are they the right long-term decision? Every day it seems like there is some new piece of equipment, software tool and/or cloud service that has the ability to revolutionize the way doctors and healthcare professionals care of their patients. When you combine this with the fact that the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that between 2010 and 2020 there will be more than 2 million healthcare jobs created per year in the United States, it is easy to see that many organizations will be expanding or upgrading their AV/IT systems in the coming years. For large healthcare networks that operate multiple facilities, it is critical to be able to plan and execute an AV/IT infrastructure strategy smoothly so that this process saves time and money.

Whether you are going to be working on an AV/IT plan for a new facility, or for the renovation of an existing infrastructure, it is vital that you are able to work with a skilled provider of AV/IT services. A knowledgeable AV/IT designer and/or integrator should be engaged early in the planning process. They will be able to offer you expertise, guidance and experience during the planning stage, and throughout the entire project.

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

Digital Pills to Help Improve Medical Treatment

PillsThe fields of medicine and healthcare are undergoing innovation at a rapid pace, easily signaling the beginning of a new era in digital medicine. One exciting example is Proteus Digital Health, a company making ingestible sensors that can help doctors monitor a patient’s intake of a prescribed medication and how his/her body is responding to it. This minute sensor can be embedded within the drug which, when taken by a patient, can trigger signals to the medical staff’s mobile devices.

The Digital Health sensor is made of silicon, magnesium, and copper and is roughly the size of a sand particle. The sensor has sought and received approval by both the FDA, as well as the parallel regulatory body in Europe. This technology-based treatment is especially helpful for patients subjected to drugs for prolonged periods of time, such as those suffering from tuberculosis, diabetes or chronic diseases. Along with the benefits of a quicker diagnosis, digital pills can give doctors more control over cases of drug intolerance. Not only is this system being viewed as an alternative to multiple medical examinations, it can also eliminate the need for frequent visits to the doctor, which will help to bring down the cost of treatment significantly.

In a nutshell, it’s an exciting time for the healthcare industry, and technology is changing the way business is done and transforming the way patients are cared for. Combine the kind of technology that digital pills represents with wearables and mobile technology, and we’ll have real-time monitoring of health situations that will result in treatment based on data delivered in an instant. This will mean physicians can be more agile in their treatment plans and modify and adapt as indicated by the real-time data they have access to. This means better, more effective care for patients, efficiencies and economies with regard to the cost of care and, without question, some lives saved along the way.

At Avidex AV, we strive to provide healthcare organizations with technology that improves collaboration processes while helping them connect with associates, partners and patients. Connect with us to enable us steer your organization towards innovation and growth.

 

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 Can be Used to Fight Ebola

As the application of telemedicine expands in medical facilities across the country, there’s a focus on using technology in as many ways as possible to fill the existing gaps in healthcare and medicine. One of the major challenges faced by the healthcare community is treating highly contagious diseases without the risk of further contamination. As a method that limits physical contact, telemedicine is being viewed as a viable solution. And today, with the world’s eyes on the Ebola virus, treating and caring for patients by way of technology has never been more attractive.

The idea of treating contagious diseases using telemedicine is gaining favor among the medical fraternity mostly for two reasons. First, it allows medical caregivers to isolate the patient from others without compromising on the quality of treatment. Secondly, this method of care and treatment helps protect the health of the medical staff and healthcare providers while they are offering treatment.

In a recent press release, Joel E. Barthelemy, CEO of telemedicine solutions provider GlobalMed, discussed the possible role of telemedicine in fighting Ebola. He stressed the fact that in case of an Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak, hospitals and medical care facilities are very likely to witness an overwhelming rush of patients. Since medical care providers are the “last line of defense,” if they contract the disease, it could possibly undermine the entire country’s healthcare system.  According to Barthelemy, telemedicine systems can be deployed to diagnose and even treat the patients from a physical distance, mitigating the risk of spreading the infection.

The deadly virus has already claimed the life of its first victim in the country, while the second case of EVD has occurred as well. Do you think telemedicine can be an effective method for assessment and treatment of EVD?

At Avidex AV, we strive to provide healthcare organizations with technology that improves collaboration processes while helping them connect with associates, partners and patients. Connect with us to enable us steer your organization towards innovation and growth.

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

Virtual And Remote Attendants

virtual attendantIt has been said that time is money. In some instances, distance is money too! In the medical field, distance plays a bigger role than time, as patients must find the money to see a doctor; gas in the car, time off work, time in the car, time in the doctor’s office, a meal…then reverse the process to get home. Distance costs more money than many think. But with the right technology you have several options.

 

Technology has changed the field of healthcare tremendously over the last decade. One of the biggest of these changes is the way that technology allows healthcare professionals to offer expertise and advice to patients without their physical presence. The remote attendant or virtual attendant is one facet of remote healthcare that is helping facilities in many parts of the world lower their costs and provide better service to their patients.

The Remote Attendant

The presence of a remote attendant allows patients to get service and advice without a receptionist or information desk worker there to help. With a remote attendant, it is possible for healthcare patients to get directions to a specific area of a healthcare facility, information about their doctor’s schedule, or other details that have a large impact on their medical care.

This type of attendant service is particularly valuable for hospitals and facilities in rural areas with residents who have trouble getting where they need to be in order to receive medical attention. The problem with rural healthcare goes beyond a limited ability to travel to receive healthcare. According to the Rural Assistance Center, illnesses and lower health rates are higher in rural areas of the United States. People who live in these areas tend to be older and have a lower income and fewer physicians available to provide care. The remote attendant is one way to combat these issues by allowing patients to receive help from experts even if they cannot be together with patients.

The Virtual Attendant

Choosing between the remote attendant or virtual attendant requires an understanding of the differences between these two types of attendants. The virtual attendant is usually a computer system that can intelligently gather data from patients through a phone or Internet network.

These types of attendants are particularly important for healthcare facilities that do not have the resources available to hire the necessary staff. There are reasons why this problem might occur: a hospital in a rural area might be unable to locate suitable candidates to fulfill the job duties that a virtual attendant would take care of, or perhaps the facility simply does not have the budget available to expand their staff. In either case, the virtual attendant is able to provide quality service at a lower cost for facilities that need someone available to answer patient questions and provide direction but are unable to hire a real person to manage this task.

The Key To Virtual And Remote Attendants  

Whether the remote attendant or virtual attendant is more applicable for your healthcare needs, it is important that you have a highly functional system in place to manage these attendants. With a remote attendant, you must have a fluid network available to transmit communications, and with a virtual attendant it is important that your attendant system functions when it needs to. For these reasons, it is imperative that you have the assistance of a knowledgeable AV integrator that understands your specific needs and how to meet these needs through a cohesive healthcare AV platform.

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 Has A Place In The ER

As it relates to chronic care, the idea and application of Telemedicine has been a hit. This is also the case with some other types of care like psychiatric visits where patients can do more on demand visits as opposed to scheduled appointments. But as Telemedicine’s popularity grows, one of the biggest implications is going to be new ways that it is used to provide patient care.

In 2014, Telemedicine got another big boost when new guidance from the American Medical Association came out promoting its use and best practices for financial reimbursement. Since then there has been more and more talk about how telemedicine applications. However, there hasn’t been a lot of discussion about telemedicine as a means to deliver emergency care.

For most people, when they feel ill or they are injured at work or playing sports they immediately head to the ER. While the ER is a great place to get immediate attention, the care comes with high costs. Many times while immediate care is required, the need isn’t really an emergency. This type of care is opening the door to a new type of emergency/immediate care that can embrace the growing telemedicine trend.

In a recent article on Healthcare Informatics , Dr. Andrew Wagner discussed the possibilities for remote emergency care and how there are many applications for it as opposed to traditional ER visits. While Wagner is clear that he doesn’t believe that telemedicine straight up replaces either a primary care or emergency doctor, he does believe that in many cases it is more than sufficient. He goes further to share how 90% of diagnoses are made through communication between a doctor and the patient and the ability to make these diagnoses over telemedicine would be more than sufficient.

Would you visit a virtual ER? Why or why not?

At Avidex AV, we aspire to provide healthcare organizations with the right mix of collaboration technology to connect providers and patients more effectively and efficiently. Let’s connect to find out how we can help connect your organization to the technology that drives 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

Mayo Clinic Testing Out Telemedicine In The Workplace

In a recent article on Pulse, we discussed the rapid growth of telemedicine as an offering in the workplace. The main idea behind it is to provide simple access for employees to connect with medical professionals without having to leave the office. While this new arrangement may not be a favorite among employees trying to catch a ball game under the onus of the flu, it is a great way to keep employees productive while allowing them to get care in the event that they don’t feel well.

Sometimes, the best evidence that a trend is really taking off is by watching if leaders are hopping on board. In the world of healthcare, there are few names more prestigious than the Mayo Clinic. This past week, they announced in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal that they are now testing the use of telemedicine-based kiosks that will be installed within their facilities in Minnesota. The idea is to test the technology in their locations and then once deemed a success, to offer them to outside employers interested in the service.

Mayo is showing their belief in the evolution of telemedicine here by not only utilizing it for outside organizations, but making it part of their internal business practices.

At Avidex AV, we seek to partner with healthcare organizations to deliver audio, video, collaboration and telemedicine solutions that drive innovation and improved efficiencies for our clients. Let’s connect to see how we can help your organization meet 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

How Smartphone Technology Is Going To Revolutionize Healthcare

pateint on cell phone with doctorSmartphone technology has already dramatically changed society, but there are areas where smartphones will have a particularly big impact in the future. Healthcare is one of the biggest of these fields. There is plenty of evidence that makes it easy to see how smartphone technology is going to revolutionize healthcare in the very near future.

Improving Provider Communication

We already have the ability to get in touch with doctors and their staff members at almost any time thanks to smartphones. The next step in the evolution of smartphone technology in the healthcare field is more sophisticated communication between healthcare colleagues. Instant file sharing, video communications, and conference calls with multiple people simultaneously will all help doctors collaborate more effectively.

Telemedicine

No discussion of how smartphone technology is going to revolutionize healthcare would be complete without including a mention of telemedicine. Telemedicine allows doctors to see their patients without being in the same physical place, which is ideal for rural patients or those who cannot easily travel to a healthcare appointment. The data to support the rise of telemedicine is already there; business analytics firm PricewaterhouseCooper reports that roughly 50% of all consumers would be willing to use technology to access healthcare services. Smartphone technology should continue to have a big impact on the delivery of telemedicine, as the number of adults who used their cellular phone to receive information about their health nearly doubled between 2010 and 2012.

Integrated Healthcare Platforms

When looking at how smartphone technology is going to revolutionize healthcare, it is important to consider smartphone tools as a part of a larger system. A great example of this kind of integrated platform is Apple’s iOS 8 upgrade, which is set to include a new app called HealthKit. HealthKit allows users to monitor things like nutrition, sleep, and footsteps. HealthKit will be designed to work in tandem with the iWatch, Apple’s upcoming entry in the controversial field of wearable technology.

HealthKit and iWatch will be excellent technology for consumers looking to become more mindful about their health. However, most industry experts believe that the success or failure of the HealthKit and the iWatch will hinge on whether or not the healthcare industry is willing to adopt these tools for patient monitoring. In an article published recently in The New York Times, Brian Chen draws parallels between Apple’s negotiations with the music industry to sell music on iTunes and its collaboration with healthcare partners to make the HealthKit and the iWatch a success. History already tells the story of Apple’s success in the music industry with iTunes and the iPod: only time will tell whether or not Apple can find similar success in the world of healthcare.

Regardless of how successful the iWatch and HealthKit are, these healthcare tools and others like them exemplify the most important factor in how smartphone technology is going to revolutionize healthcare: creating a proactive system of health monitoring that allows for early detection of health issues and communication of these issues to providers using several different tools. As smartphone development continues to push towards changing healthcare forever, it will become increasingly important for patients and providers alike to have access to the right platforms and programs to make healthcare communications with smartphone devices safer and more efficient.

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