The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way that many of us lead our day-to-day lives. Social distancing measures and stay-at-home mandates mean that, more than ever, video conferencing software has become an increasingly valuable tool for people to connect from home and also comply with preventative measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
These shutdowns and safety measures have also caused a shift in how students attend classes with many schools and universities limiting and restricting in-person attendance and instead implementing online video lectures in their curriculum.
The current health crisis has also affected much in our personal lives, especially in terms of healthcare and access to doctors. Across the country, medical resources are spread thin, and in especially hard-hit areas, hospitals are asking people who are not in need of urgent medical care to refrain from going to hospitals unless absolutely necessary as a means of freeing up doctors and nursing staff to care for patients affected by the virus.
Video conferencing is becoming an indispensable and widely used tool in the healthcare industry, allowing doctors and hospitals to care for patients while eliminating unnecessary contact and minimizing the spread of COVID-19. In this article we’ll consider some of the ways that the healthcare industry can benefit from video conferencing.
1. Reduced Cost in Time & Travel
One of the most notable benefits of video conferencing with doctors is that it helps doctors and patients save time and money spent on travel expenses and vehicle maintenance. There’s no need to leave home if patients can have face to face virtual checkups with their family doctors. Less cars on the road also reduces carbon footprint in regards to fossil fuel pollution.
2. Improves Patient Access to Healthcare Services
Conference calling also has the potential to expand access to healthcare service to millions of new patients, both in remote areas and densely populated urban centers. With video conferencing, patients can quickly and easily connect with doctors remotely from the safety of home.
3. Connecting Physicians Across All Corners of the Globe
Video conferencing also makes it possible for physicians to connect with colleagues, health facilities and experts from around the world. This allows for an unprecedented level of collaboration and knowledge-sharing, which is an invaluable resource during a public health crisis such as the one we are in.
4. Healthcare Education
Health professionals who teach students in their field can also use video conferencing software as a means to broaden their educational reach. Doctors can connect and communicate with colleagues, patients, and patient advocacy groups via video for conference calls, webinars, and even ongoing classes to share information that would otherwise be out of reach for some.
5. Facilitates More Effective Care
For some people, such as the elderly and infirmed, it’s a struggle to travel any distance for doctor visits, especially in remote areas. Patients who are very ill, handicapped, elderly or in the late stages of pregnancy could benefit greatly from the ability to connect remotely with healthcare providers. There is also great potential utilizing video conferencing in pediatrics, as many children’s ailments are common and straightforward enough to be diagnosed remotely, eliminating the need for parents to take their sick kids to the doctor.
6. Improved Access to Behavioral and Psychiatric Healthcare Services
Some fields of healthcare are especially well-suited to video conferencing. Fields with a need for direct doctor-patient interaction, such as behavioral and psychiatric health services can benefit greatly from video conferencing, which further helps to broaden the reach of doctors, and helps save patients travel time and expenses.
7. Specialist Referrals
Video conferencing software can also help streamline the specialist referral process. Using video conferencing, a primary care or physician can consult with patients and specialists alike, which facilitates quicker diagnosis, and allows doctors to recommend a referral more quickly.