In its first volume, the Healthcare AV magazine- one of the newest publications in the sector, acknowledges the effects of AV technologies’ advancement on distance medicine such as: improved training for healthcare professionals in remote areas and better patient outcome.
The reason for healthcare institutions to turn towards this new communication means has a strong utilitarian element: providing quality care in a more cost- effective manner.
Videoconferencing and streaming are used as a way to:
-cut the costs of medical education for both trainees (students) and trainers (universities who are cutting down ”foot traffic in operating theaters”)
-and make the same knowledge available to those in less urban locations. The technololgy enables students not only to witness medical procedures (all with the patient’s explicit consent) but also to interact with specialists in real time.
The patients’ benefit
The patients’ gain consists in being able to enjoy a more similar level of healthcare as those in larger cities by being offered remote diagnosis and a quicker service. Remote diagnosis also reduces the patients flow to central hospitals. Another aim of using the system is- according to the Healthcare Maintenance Organization quoted by Healthcare AV- boosting efficiency by a ”unified communication revolution”. Digital signage is a tool that sustains this revolution by ensuring a real time communication over long distances just as the AV technologies do.
Better coordinated information
The usefulness of a digital signage system consists in allowing hospitals to centrally disseminate information and make it available on screens from remote locations scattered across a region. Information on digital signs would not only reduce a healthcare institution’s carbon print (cutting down on the large amount of paper used for communication purpose) but it would also represent a more accurate communication means as the data could be centrally modified at any time and instantly updated. Besides that, the entire information process would be better coordinated as everyone will receive the information at the same time, being kept in the loop.
…all the above do not imply that the two modern communication technologies can replace the rest, on the contrary, they come to completement and improve their efficiency. By displaying teasers on screens viewers would be directed to the hospital’s website where they will be provided with extensive information a digital sign (LCD, photo frames) is not designed to support.
Via public digital displays, patients could also be directed to specific locations where they can obtain further assistance when the services of a medical staff are needed. All this for delivering better services and for a better informed staff and more satisfied patients.