The role of video and audio tech in health care
The current pandemic has revealed just how critical audio and visual technology is for delivering patient care and staying in touch with medical professionals in times of crisis.
While doctors’ surgeries have remained open, social distancing restrictions have made servicing increased demand more challenging. If the past few months have shown us anything, it’s that patient services can be adapted for online platforms. With the right technology, medical services like appointments and student learning can be completed digitally.
As patient care continues to evolve, the role of video and audio technology will become increasingly important. So, how can the modern-day healthcare sector benefit from these new solutions?
The digitalisation of health care
While integrating digital solutions into healthcare services is not a new trend, the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly accelerated adoption across the industry. In Australia, for example, we’ve seen the introduction of telehealth and the COVID tracing app to help manage the current health crisis.
A 2019 report into telehealth stated that a key function of telehealth is connecting people, data and systems. This ensures that patients, no matter where they are, can access quality care. However, the report also found that inadequate technological infrastructure remain a key challenge for adoption.
While digital patient services cannot provide the same ‘in-person’ experience, online health care can be improved by integrating the right technology solutions — particularly as social distancing is set to remain a top priority for all globally.
A new practice
A pandemic makes collaboration across the healthcare sector crucial. With some GPs and healthcare professionals working from home and others slowly returning to the workplace, healthcare organisations and service alike are being forced to look at innovative ways to collaborate in this ‘new normal’.
As a result, digital solutions like webinars, webcams and screenshare will become increasingly important functions in the industry. In addition, advancements like 180° field-of-view cameras will help support social distancing during in-person meetings, while facilitating equal participation and inclusion for everyone involved. These collaboration tools allow healthcare professionals to operate from anywhere, regardless of location or time zone.
The next generation of healthcare professionals are also utilising these technologies. Medical schools and institutions are adapting their curriculums in view of the changing technological landscape. For example, the Graduate Certificate in Infection and Immunity is one of the new online courses being offered at the University of Sydney. The digital curriculum means students have minimal disruption to their studies and can continue their schooling while remaining socially distant.
For healthcare professionals and students alike, the right digital tools to communicate and collaborate will help achieve quality patient care during the current pandemic. Whether using webcams, phone calls, cameras or cloud-sharing platforms, the industry must continue the digital transformation journey. By employing unified collaboration tools, healthcare workers can share data insights, research and, ultimately, improve patient outcomes into the future.
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