Digital

Digital

Video may have killed the radio star, but it’s rejuvenating the healthcare space



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James Campanini, VP and GM of BlueJeans EMEA – a Cloud-based video conferencing service that enables interoperability between multiple video endpoints  – talks about the potential of the medium in terms of communication and education

video conferencing

Describing themselves as an ‘equal opportunity platform’, BlueJeans was born in Silicone Valley but has global reach and offices in key cities all over the globe. Campanini is based in London and evangelical about the transformative powers of video. ‘Visual communication is always more effective and relatable,’ he has said. ‘If I can see someone I can be sure that they understand me or at least know that they don’t.

‘It’s no secret that the healthcare industry is facing significant budget cuts and looking for ways to maximise ROI, or that this will particularly impact on technological implementation. All avenues must therefore be explored, especially when considering systems that bolster quality patient care. It may come as some surprise to many, but in recent years we’ve seen the sector increasingly turn to live video technologies to provide greater connectivity between patients and professionals. But what are the benefits, and why has this become a growing trend throughout the sector?’

How does live video help improve response times?

‘Advancements in robotic or robotic-assisted surgery show that expertise needs to transcend geography. The increased use of video in the sector therefore highlights the extension of this need to communication, consultation and collaboration in healthcare. In emergency situations, time is of the essence – every second counts. Professionals working within the healthcare industry therefore need to be equipped with the right technology to allow them to deal with situations as quickly as possible, regardless of geography.

‘Integrated video conferencing in smartphones, tablets, and phablets (large screen smartphones) allows patients direct ‘face-to-face’ communication with the relevant medical professional they need. No matter the time, location, or device.

‘A common issue in the healthcare sector has been that consultants and specialists are not in the right location to deal with a patient’s needs. Video conference (VC) integration effectively removes this problem. Whether at home, out in the field, or working in the surgery, doctors can now have 24/7 connectivity with any of their patients enabling immediate diagnosis to ensure the right treatment can be administered as quickly as possible.’

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Does live video technology really improve face-to-face connectivity?

‘For specialists in fields such as oncology and psychiatry, treating multiple patients at once is a challenge, especially if they are not enabled by the right connecting technology. Higher demand and less funding is damaging the health service so, in some cases, patients aren’t receiving frequent access to the care they need.

‘Uses of VC technology to improve efficiency within the medical industry are endless. Healthcare professionals can host group therapy sessions for patients, linking multiple people together at once. Group sessions are extremely important in certain medical environments, but the logistics of arranging a specific time for everyone to meet in one place often proves troublesome. VC enables regular sessions to take place in the comfort of the patient’s home. Everyone still receives the same level of treatment, but efficiency savings are made and costs are reduced through the removal of hefty travel expenses.’

Knowledge sharing, a significant improvement?

‘Training and education are often time-consuming and cost-prohibitive for healthcare organisations. With live video, in-service training can easily be scheduled and attended by geographically scattered staff, without worrying about system incompatibility.

‘It’s possible to equip doctors to collaborate with each other as well as watch live seminars from the office or at home. Likewise, for rural clinics it’s possible to connect city locations so healthcare professionals can share knowledge and experiences to support ongoing learning and improvements.’

Five projects using video to transform healthcare

  1. West Midlands Academic Health Science Network use video to engage patients
  2. Patient Power shares knowledge between cancer patients via video
  3. Lifesize connects patients, consultants and healthcare professionals
  4. B-Line Medical focuses on training and education
  5. Medline Plus shares surgical videos to teach best practice.

Kathryn Reilly

About the author

Journalist and editor Kathryn Reilly has worked in consumer, contract and medical writing for more than 20 years.

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