Telehealth In The Mid-US Is Flourishing

telehealth in the U.S.Nebraska, in the middle of the United States, is full of spacious stretches of land and sky with widely scattered inhabitants. Although it has a long way to go before it maximizes telehealth, it might be the first place it was used in the nation. Some 55 years ago, Dr. Cecil Wittson, a former University of Nebraska Medical Center dean and chancellor, did some psychiatric consultation with two-way audio and video similar to closed-circuit television. At the time, it was the best way to treat distant patients without transporting them many miles to an office.

A recent article in the Omaha World-Herald gives an interesting update to Nebraska’s telehealth progress. “Doctor’s home visit is back – kind of- as telehealth flourishes nationwide” by Rick Ruggles looks at the way things have changed.

“This is like the tsunami. So much is happening. Technology is changing really rapidly. Legislation is changing,” said Mandi Constantine, who was hired 15 months ago as executive director of telehealth for the Nebraska Medical Center to hasten the hospital’s efforts.

Telehealth is being used in rural areas to connect specialists to patients in local doctors’ offices without having to drive hundreds of miles. Psychiatric appointments are happening in nursing homes via videoconferencing instead of transporting frail patients and compromising their health. The Nebraska Med Center has at least 13 new test projects and initiatives in telehealth covering a wide range of specialties.

The Department of Veteran’s Affairs began using telehealth in the late 1990s, adding remote patient monitoring in the following decade. Last year, 608,900 patients were cared for using home monitoring, videoconferences, and related technology. According to Dr. Adam Darkins, the Veterans Health Administrations chief consultant for telehealth, the VA saves about $2,000 a year per patient with technology that costs about $300-400 per patient annually and keeps them out of the hospital. Video telehealth specialties include wound care, nutritional counseling, infectious diseases, and psychiatry.

It’s interesting to see how video conferencing and similar technologies is improving healthcare in areas that previously had few medical options. WhyGo has been watching the global state of the video conference for over ten years, and it is exciting to see telehealth be an established part of medical practice.


Healthcare Driving Video Conferencing Demand In Europe

video conference europe

A recent study by Frost & Sullivan on Video Conferencing for Healthcare finds that there are many opportunities for conferencing service providers in Europe to get in on the growing demand for both infrastructure and endpoints. Video conferencing offered in patient homes can be a major benefit to many, but the ability to travel a short distance to a clinic offering video conferencing for post-discharge programs, specialist consultation, etc. is a logical next step in the industry.

“Rising incidence of chronic diseases, an ageing population, and budgetary pressures on healthcare organisations in Europe have combined to generate demand for solutions that simultaneously enhance care and reduce costs,” said Frost & Sullivan Information and Communication Technologies Research Analyst Mark Hickey. “A number of successful pilot programmes and early stage roll-outs are expected to keep the adoption rates of video conferencing services high.”

Europe has many differing regulatory environments, and that variety creates a challenge for vendors. Cost, security, and privacy of patient information are also a concern, as is ensuring access is limited to the proper parties. Despite these challenges, the healthcare industry is displaying a growing demand for the use of video conferencing in practical applications, including mobile.

At WhyGo, we’ve been watching the use of video conferencing morph into new territory for over ten years. It’s been fun! It started out as a goal of making it as easy to book public video conferencing facilities as it is to book hotel rooms or airplane tickets. Now, we’ve added private rooms to the mix, are all over the globe with three teams to provide 24/7 service, and our network has over 3,500 video conferencing facilities and it’s growing all the time into new territory. Business, education, research, healthcare….what’s next?

Chromebox Proves The Popularity Of Video Conferencing

chromebox videoconferenceIf you ever thought that video conferencing was a trend that would fade, the fact that Google Launches Chromebox for Meetings should make you re-think that notion. It relies on Google+ Hangouts and Google Apps and is currently priced at $999, including a $250 first-year support fee. The idea is that users can quickly set up a virtual video conference room and manage their connections from a web-based console. You still need a screen display, but laptop screens can be shared wirelessly. It can integrate with Google Calendar and get up to 15 video feeds from participating computers or mobile devices. It’s designed to be used with Gmail accounts, but Vidyo can connect traditional video conferencing systems and UberConference can connect phone-only colleagues.

This makes a browser-based video conference feasible and emphasizes the fact that business, education, and entrepreneurs are increasingly dependent on remote collaboration. Even if the Chromebox doesn’t become popular, the need for a practical and economical way to interact face-to-face with good sound and video while sharing information is here to stay. Google has a well-deserved reputation for keeping its virtual finger on the pulse of communication and anticipating the demand.

WhyGo has been in the videoconferencing field for over ten years now. We started out with the idea that it should be as easy to book public video conference facilities as it is to book a flight or hotel room. We’ve succeeded, too! The WhyGo network has over 3,500 facilities all over the world. We also have three global operations centers scattered around the globe so you can get support any time you need it. Check us out and see why video conferencing is more popular than ever.

Telepresence Robots Are Changing The Game

robot telepresenceImagine a robotic screen moving around the room, shifting angles and interacting with the people there. The screen holds the image of the person controlling it remotely, and the changing placement of the telepresence robot is a literal reminder of their interest in the conversation. Some people think this is a great way to interact with family across the miles…you can just park your robot in the living room at Grandma’s in Arizona, for instance, and move it around when you want to see something from your computer in Australia.

Other people think that Grandma would not appreciate a telepresence robot that just starts wheeling around and looking at things and that she’d tell you to stop it. Which you could, because you control the robot. The Beam+ Telepresence Robot recently has been introduced as an affordable technology for those who are in favor of this idea. With a lower price, it is changing the game as far as home telepresence options are concerned.

Most of us aren’t ready for remotely controlled robots in the home if we are not going to be the one controlling them. This is why the public telepresence facility rental idea is popular: you get the detailed immersion sense of being there for the videoconference, but you are in control of the situation.

If you want to explore the possibilities of telepresence, it is easy to search the WhyGo Video Conference Booking System using the “telepresence facilities” filter and see exactly what is available. You can get the very best High Definition quality available in Immersive Telepresence today for the price of the room rental, along with all the support the WhyGo system offers.