Telehealth video conferencing is an effective solution to improve healthcare services quality and allow for timely medical care. Digitalization of physician-patient interactions provides remoteness, efficiency, and convenience both for clinicians and patients anytime and anywhere.
In this article, we will analyze the core advantages of video telehealth monitoring, discuss core functionality of video monitoring solutions, and provide some examples of effective usage of video conferencing solutions.
Using Video Conferencing in Healthcare System
Video conferencing is a part of the general telemedicine model that allows for building-patient relations efficiently while also streamlining medical practice. Together with other telehealth solutions such as chats, video, and phone calls, this technology creates virtual spaces for remote patient diagnostics, monitoring, and treatment.
Telemedicine and video conferencing solutions kept gaining momentum in 2020. In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, it has become an indispensable tool for businesses across multiple fields, and healthcare is no exception Experts predict the video conferencing market will still be growing rapidly in the upcoming years, reaching almost $800m by 2026.
Video consultations are particularly valuable for those who require ongoing monitoring and control such as high-risk patients who suffer from chronic diseases. Taking into consideration the time spent to get to the hospital and hours of waiting for an appointment, this solution is game-changing for patients.
With all these benefits achieved, no wonder state hospitals, nursing centers, and other medical institutions all around the world are upgrading their means of communication with clients by implementing telemedicine apps. This strategic step helps them to keep a competitive edge, deliver healthcare services for more patients, improve the quality of their services, and eventually increase ROI. Let’s further review the benefits of video conferencing for telemedicine below.
Video Conferencing for Monitoring the Patient: Performance Peculiarities
Telemedicine video conferencing technology is a solution serving as a point of contact between a physician. By using video conferencing for monitoring the patient via a conferencing portal, doctors are able to join a pre-arranged video call with a patient. The meetings can be scheduled by patients, physicians, doctor’s assistants, or administrators. This process includes the following steps:
- Logging into the system to book an appointment by using PCs, smartphones, or tablets.
- Choosing an available time slot and sending a request to the doctor for an appointment.
- Adding personal details and setting up appointment reminders.
- Submitting an appointment request through e-mail or directly in the system.
- Confirming a meeting in Google or Outlook calendars which are commonly integrated with a video conferencing portal.
- Logging into the system a few minutes prior to the call to test webcam and audio settings.
Telehealth solutions may widely vary ranging from customized mass-market software to tailor-made app embedded into the clinic’s website and its IT infrastructure. Because of that, this workflow can be adapted to a specific business need or end-users’ preferences.
Key Aspects To Be Considered
Apart from the technical steps, there are a few other aspects that should be taken into account. They are the following:
The internet speed
Conducting a high-quality video conferencing visit without any interruptions is crucial for the proper functioning of the telehealth app. The research shows that 3G-based mobile connection provides a worse connection quality than broadband fiber-based services, which results in interruption of over 23% of 3G-based calls. However, doctors admit that this type of connection still enables delivering of effective medical services.
User-friendly interface & intuitive UX
To ensure high user adoption and satisfaction rate, the app’s UI/UX design should be thoroughly planned on the initial stage of the app development. Ease of use is especially important for the elderly who might find trouble using a new technology solution. To eliminate potential difficulties in navigation, the app usage tutorial can be set up for first-time users.
Without the app’s seamless integration into the existing digital infrastructure, its benefits will be minimal. Real-time data exchange between video conferencing tools and other hospital technologies and IoT devices is one of the most critical aspects that need to be considered and supported with a proper strategy.
Key Features of Video Conferencing Solutions
Video conferencing apps’ capabilities go far beyond mere video call scheduling. The diversity of features to choose from makes video conferencing solutions highly versatile.
Custom telehealth software can be developed to meet specific business needs and fit flawlessly into the existing clinical workflows. Some advanced features allow for automation, AI-powered data management, and IoT-based notifications. Let’s review some of the system’s capabilities below.
A list of the most common features of a video conferencing portal include:
- Regular visit appointment scheduling. The software has a technical opportunity to set up automatic follow-up video calls as well as schedule regular meetings for patients with chronic diseases or the ones who require frequent monitoring and check-ups.
- Waiting rooms for patients. Doctors are able to see patients that joined the call and approve their attendance.
- Reports and analytics. Doctors can run custom reports based on patient-relevant information: personal measurements, the history of calls, the list of appointments, billing info, and many other
- Knowledge base. Portal users are able to access a wide range of educational materials, tutorials, video training, FAQs, presentations, tests, etc.
- Meeting recordings. Both patients and doctors are able to record the meeting to make sure not a single thing is missed during the conversation.
- Exchange of medical documents. Medical specialists are able to share patient data, test results, and other medical documentation within the system.
6 Top Benefits of Video Conferencing in Healthcare
The popularity of virtual visits proves their strong benefits for both doctors and patients. Understanding them is crucial to the successful use, optimization, and scaling of telemedicine solutions.
To help you identify gains from telehealth technology, we’ve prepared a detailed list of the advantages of video conferencing in telemedicine that you need to know.
Time-efficiency and streamlined delivery of healthcare services
The Software Advice survey proves that 21% of patients believe that not having to travel to the doctor’s office is a top telehealth benefit. With video conferencing solutions in place, the patients no longer have to consider numerous factors such as hospital location, traffic, hospital queues, quarantine periods, and many others while scheduling a visit.
Virtual visits also allow for much greater flexibility. When it comes to offline meetings, sometimes it is hard to find a free time slot and arrange a meeting with a doctor. Sometimes monitoring visits are postponed and health status is not being controlled in the way it should be. Numerous visits are being constantly canceled last minute or patients do not show. All these dramatic issues can be minimized or eliminated with the help of telehealth technology.
Accessibility and patient-centered care
Cisco research states that 74% of patients prefer online communication with doctors in contrast to face-to-face meetings. This proves the fact that telehealth solutions are a game-changer for patients, especially for those living in rural or remote areas.
Video calls provided them with an opportunity to communicate with doctors without having to travel miles to reach the hospital. A video call can be set up even for several minutes to do a regular check-up, confirm the health status, or get proper treatment instruction from a specialist. This allows patients receive quick and effective healthcare no matter where they are. Besides that, patients feel more comfortable communicating with doctors being at home rather than at hospitals.
Cost reduction for both patients and clinicians
Telehealth video calls can save money for all stakeholders involved. The Willis Towers Watson research demonstrates that telemedicine solutions enable US companies to save up to $6 billion per year. Patients, doctors, and insurance companies win in case of video conferencing, and here is why:
- online visits are usually cheaper than in-person office or home visits;
- more video conferences can be scheduled a day, which means more treated patients and thus the revenue increase;
- no transportation expenses are required;
- no additional medical materials used or other expenses required for every patient visit;
- unexpected/urgent visits or re-hospitalizations can be prevented
- video conferencing transforms on-call hours in billable.
Improved health care services
Software Advice survey shows that about 21% of respondents admit video conferencing provides the same healthcare quality or even higher than personal meetings with physicians. Thanks to video conferencing solutions, clients have an opportunity to use urgent real-time consultations and receive instructions as soon as possible. In addition, doctors can connect other medical specialists to the video call to receive additional expertise and point of view.
Digital solutions also help patients’ family members and caregivers to receive quick advice in case of any doubts or unexpected symptoms. This enhances healthcare service quality and customer satisfaction. Because of that, video conferences prevent hospitalizations in many cases and even save lives.
Flexibility in healthcare services delivery
Thanks to video conferencing tools, physicians are able to switch to a work-from-home model partially or because of quarantine periods. Such an approach allows for preventing the spread of viruses.
Video conferencing solutions can also be used to record the tutorials for patients or address the FAQs of some of the most common incidents. This way, doctors have more time to devote to more complex and urgent cases.
Increase in patients’ health awareness
As per the Software Advice investigation, over 53% of respondents admit that telemedicine technologies motivate them to participate actively in treatment decisions and keep themselves healthy. With easier access to healthcare and regular video appointments, it is much easier for patients to follow a clear personal plan and be more involved in the treatment process. The doctors, in turn, are able to promote and implement preventive medicine strategies to reduce the risks of disease.
Video conferencing in healthcare cannot fully substitute in-person room meetings with doctors. But this digital solution is perfect for multiple cases: regular check-ins, patients in remote locations, and preventive consultations, and many others. Implementation of telehealth software leads to improvements in organizing appointments, reducing patient no-shows, conducting medical training, making reporting, and streamlining healthcare operations. As a result, clients receive high-quality medical services and providers generate deserved revenue.
If you would like to implement a fully-custom video conferencing solution, Empeek‘s team will willingly assist you in delivering a high-end final product. Empeek is experienced in providing healthcare digital solutions for various businesses ranging from home care, pharmaceutical, dental, mental health to veterinary to rehabilitation. Contact us to learn more about the ways we can help you to reap the benefits of using video conferencing for telehealth.