I’ve been reading more in the press about the use of remote technologies used by physicians to communicate and monitor patients. The technology exists, so using it for this purpose makes perfect sense. I’ve even learned of some companies building this type of technology into their core business models which I believe to be a very exciting development in medical care (more on that in a future post).
In this post from Peter Lucash at the Medical Practice Business Blog, Peter reports on the use of wireless networks and video communication for just this purpose, and draws a very good parallel to the introduction of a now standard piece of office technology to the development of improved communications between physicians and patients in the 1990’s: the fax machine.
Wireless networks have the ability to carry voice, data and video. The latter becomes particularly interesting when we realize that a camera can be brought to the patient, regardless of where they are. This very portability is what makes this technology so powerful. In rural parts of Japan, nurse practitioners are using cell phones to transmit fetal monitor tracings to Ob’s at the nearest hospital (in one case, 200 miles away) for review and guidance before moving a patient several hours. AT&T offers a service dubbed “AT&T Video Share” where users can take and send live video from their mobile device – allowing another mobile phone user to see exactly what they are seeing.