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Video Conferencing on the Rise in the US Healthcare Industry

written by Shane "Geek" Lundberg January 8, 2017

When people think healthcare, they think white coats, stethoscopes, clip boards and that unmistakable scent of alcohol and cleaning product that permeates the rooms and hallways of any hospital. When people think video conferencing, they think of board rooms in New York and Japan, communicating via two giant wall-mounted TVs, with expensive microphone and speaker equipment and a skyline in the background of each room.

Bring the two together and you get… what?

While the pictures don’t coincide, it’s been a while now since video conferencing has necessitated an entire room of electronics to even be feasible from a business perspective. Nowadays, all you need is three teenagers and a smartphone per head.

On a more professional level, an office PC and quality webcam would replace the smartphone, but the gist of the message remains the same – today’s video conferencing isn’t your father’s video conferencing.

We’re looking at an entirely different product, a revamped industry with a new focus, and the healthcare world – which has been taken to a whole new level of communication and training through the use of video technology. Yes, that’s the clincher – training.

But it isn’t the only side of the healthcare industry that has seen massive benefits since video conferencing has improved and become viable in almost any technologically-capable business setting, as evidenced by the fact that video conferencing is on the rise in the US healthcare industry as per Verify Markets, which reports anticipated “double digit” growth from $240 million to a projected $1.1 billion by 2022.

How Video Technology Facilitates Better Medicine

We live in a world where everything has been sped up. Information, the most of all – but as a side-effect, we’re striving for constantly faster growth, faster service, better service. Even the healthcare industry, where mistakes are a question of seconds, is one where speed and efficiency is being demanded.

People want faster diagnosis, and they want faster treatment. But that can’t be achieved unless hospitals – and individual doctors and clinics – pool their resources instead of striving for constant competition. In the past, that would’ve meant perhaps taking the time to phone an old colleague or friend from the days of medical school, waiting for them to receive a copy of some information you sent them, or describe vaguely through the phone or by letter what you’ve been dealing with.

Crude cooperation at best. That’s where video conferencing technology jumps in, and has been delivering key progress in driving for faster, more accurate diagnosis and a lower number of inaccurate or unnecessary hospitalizations or medical malpractices.

This is simply because doctors now have the ability to quite easily pool their knowledge and resources by working on cases together, finding out more through web-based, cloud-based cooperation and confidential, secure and encrypted file sharing, and communication between doctors and patients through video conference calling to better help outpatient cases understand where their treatment will be going through easily-displayed facts and shared files.

Of course, this all comes at a cost – in order to efficiently facilitate all of this, the video conferencing technology used has to be top-notch in quality, reputation and ability, rather than just any free voice over Internet protocol service. Services that allow hospitals and medical professionals to host secure all hands meetings to discuss a pressing case, like BlueJeans, are far more effective than cheaper services that fail to be accurate or reliable.

That being said, the video tech of today doesn’t require fancy hardware to run, and allows doctors to communicate with one another no matter where they are, and no matter what device they’re carrying with themselves, so long as it’s as advanced as a smartphone.

In other words, the investment really isn’t big at all, since you probably already have the necessary infrastructure and just need the programming to get everything up and running.

Video Technology and Medical Training

Aside from facilitating better hospital administration – it is a business tool, after all, so even the healthcare industry benefits from its ability to make meetings so much better – and providing remote patient care, one of the biggest benefits to utilizing this meeting and event tech is through training.

Medical education is obviously something people go to medical school for, but true to any major craft of mastery, medicine is a field in which you never stop learning, even after you’ve become a doctor. More so to the point, inexperienced or new doctors beginning their residency at a hospital or clinic can learn through senior doctors or internationally-renowned experts in their particularly chosen field of medicine, learning through them and through easily-managed video training tools.

Coincidentally, research over at Strategyr.com shows that the leading industries of growth for the global video conferencing services industry at large, are the education and health care industries. Training and teaching through the use of video tools are a seemingly hot topic at the moment.

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