Could this be the next telemedicine new thing? This review by Walt Mossberg describes an exciting device that let’s your HD TV become a whole room conferencing center.
It is manufactured by a company called Tely Labs. It costs $250 and links through Skype. We are enthusiastic about such new developments, but we also remember that our 16 years of experience has shown us three things to think about:
- Is what we are viewing easy to use, solid and usable on demand with the patient in front of you?
- Is it secure?
- Does it make a medical record for later teaching and documentation?
- Does it allow a shift in time as well as place? In other words, do the requestor, the consultant, AND the patient all have to be present at the same time?
We also, in the past, have gone through the drill of purchasing a considerable amount of expensive equipment. Based on those purchases and experiences, we found that access to care is easier when scheduling is easier. Collaboration is best performed at a relaxed time for each provider individually, and that by having a database of each consultation, not only lawyers are served, but more importantly all those we educate -- the new hire, the graduate nurse, the medical student, the resident, or the nurse in training -- are served even better.
While we are very aware that Store and Forward technology provides all of these advantages, it is still not universally reimbursed. This is rapidly changing as noted in our previous post. In the mean time, creative products like this should be considered.
Please contact us if you would like to discuss further nuances of these types of decisions.