Just read this response from Thomas Banacek to a MobiHealthNews report on news that we’ve made 3G Doctor available to patients in the UK and Ireland who have Apple iPhone 4’s.
Although those of us familiar with the use of video technology might think this is like not appreciating the opportunity that TV gave us over radio, I think it’s actually an interesting question and wanted to share my response here on my blog as it’s by no means a complete list. If you can think of any other benefits please feel encouraged to add them in the comments below:
“To make any sense of the benefits of using 3G video mobiles in the consulting process you’ll need to appreciate that 3G Doctor aren’t just offering video calls to a Doctor. We have created a service that offers patients the opportunity to consult with an informed registered Doctor. This involves patients selecting answers to an interactive questionnaire and describing what they would like to consult with a Doctor. This important information along with their Medical History is shared with the Doctor before the consultation begins.
From this starting point we find 3G Smartphones offer enormous value above and beyond what can be achieved with basic voice only mobiles. Benefits include:
> Data access enables the support of continuity of care eg. patients can give their history and get a written record of their consultation without having to rely on any other equipment
> Video not only enhances communication but adds trust. In a brand new Doctor/Patient relationship this is very important as it can quickly help patients feel more reassured and comfortable
> Not only have we found that video increases job satisfaction for remote consulting Doctors (key to recruiting and keeping the best talent) way beyond what could be achieved on voice calls or messaging mediums, but there is also strong evidence that suggests healthcare professionals work more effectively when they can see their patients.
> Video also adds value to training process we have developed here at 3G Doctor. This not only improves the patient experience but it improves outcomes and helps ensures patient safety. Here’s a good example of how video can be used in this way
> The Video Calling experience doesn’t always require both participants of the call to be looking at one another. Other uses for the same technology include enabling one of the participants to share what they are looking at or an image/video that they’d like to discuss. Using more of our senses when communicating can help improve the experience and some examples I’ve made of this might help you imagine the variety of new use cases that we will inevitably see being used in the mobile video calling market over the next few years.