In numerous situations, the use of video technology provides benefits as an alternative to standard face-to-face support include the following:
The use of video can be a good option for patients where travel is hard. It can be very beneficial for those in remote communities where public transport access is inadequate or where travel to major cities might be an overwhelming prospect.
A solid example could be a weight management clinic with a huge number of young mothers on the register where childcare is a problem for them so Facetime or Skype can help link them to a health professional from their home.
In addition to doctor-to-patient communication, video conferencing lets hospitals create networks to offer each other support. By simply sharing their knowledge outside their own organizations, nurse or medical specialists can give extraordinary value to health or social care colleagues.
Diminishing the spread of infections
Remote consultations can reduce the possible transmission of infectious diseases between medical staff and patients. This is particularly a problem where the spread of flu is a concern.
A remote consultation using video links will not only eliminate the anxiety of the patient visiting the health practitioner, which can be scary for some but also ensures that those with phobias do get medical help if needed.
Video consultations can be connected to self-monitoring equipment to make sure that patients or service users are using the equipment correctly to take their readings.
Risks and barriers
The disadvantages of using video technology include the cost of the training and equipment for staff. A ‘train the trainer’ tactic will encourage adoption by cascading learning through the organization.
Virtual consultations might also lead to diminished interaction with the health practitioner. Therefore, forward planning is needed to decide the sorts of interventions where remote consultations will be used.