Telemedicine has slowly gained greater adoption in recent years, and a number of healthcare providers are now implementing it into their existing offerings. With the ability to speed up care, improve access to medical services and deliver increased collaboration, telehealth is poised to revolutionise the sector and become the norm going forward.
James Ware, the Senior Manager of Microsoft Alliance for Polycom ANZ, spoke at HealthDisrupt about using video technology to deliver patient centered care. He opened his keynote by sharing the results of ‘The 2025 Healthcare Technology Innovation Survey’, conducted in 2015 by Polycom with over 1000 healthcare professionals worldwide.
“What we’re seeing through to 2025 is this aging population and increasing demand on the services and the infrastructure that we’re supplying and trying to manage and maintain.”
In addition, Ware noted that another problem was the centralisation of health services in Sydney, Melbourne and other large population areas. Australia’s unique landscape means that it’s harder to provide a health service in remote areas, with Ward stating that there’s “very few countries globally that have [this] diversity in terms of distance and patients.”
This is where telehealth can play a vital role, with a number of different collaboration options available. Whether one-to-one or one-to-many, the opportunities that video technology presents to the healthcare sector are numerous and innovative.
The ability to change the way that medical education is delivered was a point that Ware was quick to emphasise. He explained that the classroom of the future may well be a virtual one, with this allowing collaboration with both healthcare communities and other universities.
Effectively delivering care that’s centered around the patient is the challenge that everybody in healthcare is trying to solve, but telemedicine may hold some of the answers. Video collaboration enables innovations around discharge planning, case management and medication management, with Ware stating it’s all about improving the patient experience.
“How do we put less stress on the patient, as in we’re not moving them around so much or we’re able to provide as much care as possible while they’re in their own home?”
However video technology is employed, it has to benefit everyone who’s going to interact with it, with Ware highlighting that increased collaboration is the ultimate end goal.
“It’s really about providing that high quality of experience on the patient side, and then for the specialist, it’s about having the right connectivity and access to information.”