Unified Communications Featured Article

Telemedicine: VoIP Solutions Make Remote Care Possible

June 06, 2012

Long before the arrival of modern technology, doctors made house calls to individuals residing outside of town needing their services. A lot has changed since then, but new technological advances, such as VoIP solutions, may have us practicing medicine on a more personal level, reminiscent of yesteryears.

Recent developments in telemedicine are providing a whole new way of connecting doctors to their patients. Luckily, VoIP solutions are a key element to providing telemedicine, helping to close the gap created by geography, according to this Teo Tech report

Improvements in programs using these innovative solutions allow communication to occur via video conferencing anywhere in the world, opening the door for your doctor to come right into your living room for a virtual visit.

The telemedicine market is extremely lucrative. Analysts at BCC Research predict that the market will continue to expand at an average rate of 18 percent a year for the next several years, which equates to $27 billion in sales worldwide. 

Employing telemedicine services made possible through VoIP solutions is a win-win. It allows isolated patients to receive the care they need, while helping those in the medical profession leverage ROI and remain competitive. Telemedicine will also help limit the number of patients needing to be readmitted. 

The state of Pennsylvania has just announced that it will be jumping on board and increasing its use of telemedicine services. Tom Corbett, Pennsylvania’s governor, advised that the new initiative is meant to provide coverage to those residing in the state’s rural areas who may find it difficult to travel to the city for basic treatment. 

Difficulties caused by infrastructure will no longer hinder the ability to receive adequate medical care. It is estimated that diagnosis and treatment services made possible through interactive VoIP solutions will help at least two million people in the state’s medical assistance program.

The elderly and disabled are often the ones who suffer because issues with mobility make it challenging for them to leave their homes for care. Instead of a traditional office visit, healthcare professionals will be able to utilize unified communications platforms to simultaneously see and speak to patients, enabling them to consult and provide prescriptions in real-time. 

The Saint Vincent Health System in Pennsylvania used video conferencing to join 26 of its locations and had positive results. Philip Wolford, a network coordinator for Saint Vincent, said that it has also employed a telemedicine program for cardiology patients that has completely altered the way it conducts business. 

Technology now offers a solution for the challenges presented by rural medicine. Telemedicine can help overcome issues with distance and cost that traditionally kept some from seeking the help they desperately need. Governor Corbett says that he is confident that the program will help improve quality of life for many Pennsylvania residents.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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