Healthcare 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org