When you look at the evolution of video over the years, it’s one of the single most transformational technologies the world has ever seen. While it started off as a simple way of recording life in motion and entertaining small audiences, it’s since become a powerful mode for telling stories, communicating information, connecting people, and, in the case of medicine, saving lives.
3 Ways the Healthcare Industry is Using Video
While it may not get the same attention that groundbreaking medications and surgical techniques receive, video is arguably one of the single most important technological developments in the healthcare industry. If you’re wondering how this could possibly be the case, just take a look at some of the specific ways it’s currently being utilized around the world.
1. Collaborative Care Consultation
“Video can be an effective way for healthcare organizations to provide care to patients; it enables efficient face-to-face collaboration among remote patients and specialists. Hospitals and clinics are embracing video for collaborative care for both the benefits to the patient and the bottom line,” explains IVCi, a leader in AV integration and unified communications.
Financially speaking, collaborative care can make a huge difference in individual situations where patients need access to specialists who work in another geographical region.
IVCi points out that the University of Washington saved $3,300 when it used a collaborative care model to treat patients with depression. The patients directly benefited from the additional sessions they received through video.
2. Virtual Reality in Pre-Op
Many surgical procedures are routine, and doctors perform dozens of them per week. But some surgical procedures can be highly complicated and unique. In these cases, 3D visualization through virtual reality can be a game-changer.
An example of this recently played out in the successful separation of conjoined twins at Masonic Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis.
“Before surgery, the surgical team took CT, ultrasound, and MRI scans and created a super-detailed virtual model of the twins’ bodies — and then ventured ‘inside’ their organs to identify potential pitfalls and plan how these would be avoided during surgery,” Sarah DiGiulio reported for NBC News.
According to one of the surgeons who separated the twins, the high-resolution visualization “helped minimize the number of surprises that we were potentially dealing with.”
3. Faster Diagnosis of Strokes
It’s common knowledge that the sooner a stroke victim receives treatment, the more likely that they’ll survive and continue to live a functional life. Unfortunately, emergency room physicians often aren’t trained to spot lesser-known signs of a stroke and many hospitals don’t always have neurologists on call.
This is where TeleStroke services come into play. With TeleStroke, videoconferencing can help identify signs of stroke much faster and more accurately – something that not only saves time, but also conserves valuable resources like ambulances, helicopters, and staff.
“I can examine someone very interactively with the help of a physician or a nurse on the other end and I can make a determination of the stroke severity and the type of stroke by looking at the patient and at the brain image,” says Dr. Lee Schwamm of Massachusetts General Hospital. “It’s almost like being in the room.”
The hope is that this same sort of technology will be able to be deployed in other areas in the future, not just neurology. In doing so, many hospital facilities could dramatically reduce costs and serve more patients.
Adding it All Up
While video is predominantly a mode for storytelling and entertainment in modern society, its uses are far more important and transformational within the healthcare industry. As technology continues to grow, the expectation is that video will become an even more integral part of the medical world.