Here at the TANDBERG Public Sector blog, we’ve talked at great length about the uses of video teleconferencing (VTC) in healthcare applications. We’ve discussed how VTC solutions can deliver quality healthcare to individuals who are without access to the specialists they need. We’ve even touched upon a handful of revolutionary ways that VTC solutions are helping to save lives, such as telestroke applications, and ways VTC has improved the standard of living for patients managing chronic health conditions.
In addition to these applications, there’s another area of healthcare where VTC is seeing rapid adoption, telemental health and substance abuse services.
Many people find it difficult to seek treatment for mental health and substance abuse disorders. Issues around the availability of specialists combined with a social and cultural stigma about seeking psychiatric treatment often result in inadequate care.
VTC solutions help combat many of these issues by making specialists available to a wider audience without a significant investment from the provider or patients. Delivering psychiatric treatment via video, doctors reduce the need for patient travel and allow them to seek treatment privately.
A great example of the telemental health applications of VTC in action is the Lyndon Baynes Johnson (LBJ) Tropical Medical Center in Pago Pago, which is utilizing VTC to allow veterans with post traumatic stress disorder to communicate with the US Department of Veterans Affairs clinical psychology providers located on the other side of American Samoa. This enables veterans who are logistically isolated from specialists to still receive imperative treatment for a condition that manifests itself in emotions ranging from fear and sadness, to anxiety, changes in eating habits and nightmares.
VTC is so effective for delivering psychiatric care that the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) recently released guidelines for delivering psychological and substance abuse treatment via video. These guidelines are essentially best practices for developing and practicing coherent, effective, safe and sustainable telemental health practices.
We applaud the ATA for their work and and for creating guidelines that are important best practices for ensuring that VTC solutions bring safe and effective care to those who need it. We’re also proud to be providing the VTC solutions that are empowering a new way of caring at the LBJ Tropical Medical Center in Pago Pago and other organizations around the world.
With the holidays here, it’s the perfect time to look back and reflect on the previous year that was and think about the one coming up.
2009 was a challenging year for many people, with weather phenomena, H1N1 and the ongoing recession making “business as usual” difficult across the globe. Fortunately, the adoption of video teleconferencing (VTC) has been there to help government agencies, organizations and employees continue to serve the American people.
VTC solutions have been the bridge connecting people and enabling them to interact and collaborate regardless of the distance between them. This has made continuity in the face of pandemic flu a much smaller obstacle, allowing government employees to interact without having to be in the office where they can become infected or infect others.
As recent snowstorms rocked the east coast, teleworking government employees utilizing VTC solutions could interact as if they were in the same room without having to navigate dangerous roads.
States struggling under budget deficits during the recession have also been able to find savings in VTC solutions. Schools have been empowered to share resources and teachers, bringing better educations to students without significant expenditures. Court houses and police have also been given the ability to get search warrants and witness testimony via VTC, saving money and time.
2009 has come and gone, but not without some unique and interesting challenges. At TANDBERG, we’re proud to have been supplying the VTC solutions that have enabled government agencies, organizations and employees to continue to serve the American people through the previous year’s many obstacles and look forward to bringing a new way of working into 2010.
From all of us at TANDBERG, we’d like to thank you for an amazing 2009 and wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season and new year.
As Americans, we enjoy unprecedented freedoms and liberties, but only thanks to the soldiers who have and continue to sacrifice everything to fight for them. Families and friends, comfort and homes are left thousands of miles behind as soldiers deploy to unfamiliar, often unfriendly locations across the globe where injury and even death can await them.
When these soldiers do finally arrive back to their families and homes, many face a new set of challenges, especially those that have been wounded in combat.
For wounded veterans, life can be a constant battle even when they return home. Many need constant care from doctors, others need conditions monitored or regular visits to doctors and specialists. Many times, this means strain on families and loved ones who have to prepare and travel with them from their homes to distant doctors on a regular basis.
By embracing VTC technology and solutions, the VA Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and its Care Coordination Home Telehealth program are giving wounded veterans a direct connection to their doctors and medical staff via video. This enables doctors to monitor medical conditions and vital data from a distance without having to travel to the patient, or vice versa.
For Joseph “Jay” Briseno, Jr., and his family, this new program has had a significant impact. Jay was wounded by gunfire during a tour in Iraq that left him with permanent paralysis, blindness and brain injury. A specialized telehealth unit was created by the VA and TANDBERG to bring Jay’s medical team right to his bedside. This not only ensures that his health can be constantly monitored, but also allows doctors to make more educated decisions about whether Jay needs to brought into the hospital for treatment, which is a difficult process requiring ambulance transport.
At TANDBERG, we’re proud to be creating VTC solutions that enhance the lives of veterans wounded while defending our freedom. Empowering a new way of caring for veterans is just a small way we can show our appreciation for their patriotism and sacrifice.
In a recent post we discussed Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to bring terror suspects, including the alleged mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center, to New York City to stand trial.
The decision to have the defendants, including accused September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four co-defendants, stand trial inside the United States and just blocks away from Ground Zero was met with concern from many Americans who felt that extremists could use the trial as an opportunity to stage another attack on the city.
Now, New York City’s top cop, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, is echoing those concerns. In fact, he’s asking Congress for additional funds and stating the $75 million requested by Senator Charles Schumer is woefully inadequate to properly prepare and secure the city.
In a recent USA Today article, the Commissioner stressed the sheer cost of security alone is too much for the city to handle by itself. This raises additional questions about the decision to try these accused terrorists in the United States, and more specifically in a city that is already considered a top terrorist target.
Commissioner Kelly’s plea for funds is just another reason why TANDBERG whole-heartedly supports finding an alternate solution to holding the trial within our borders. Although we believe in the American justice system, we feel it’s unnecessary to expose American citizens to even the slightest increase in probability of attack, especially when alternatives are available.
In an effort to decrease the probability of attack, and to reduce the rapidly increasing security expense being incurred by a country and city struggling to get past significant economic hardships, Attorney General Eric Holder should instead turn to technology, specifically video teleconferencing (VTC) solutions, to conduct the trial. This would enable the defendants to appear in court regardless of their physical location, eliminating the need to transport them to New York City and reducing the potential of attack.
We believe that VTC solutions have the ability to more effectively and efficiently conduct the trial and improve the safety of American citizens at a significantly smaller cost than the dollars needed for additional security. In fact, we’re so adamant that we previously offered to provide the equipment and services needed FREE OF CHARGE until the trial ended.
That offer is still on the table. Why? Because when it comes to America’s safety, even a small chance of attack is too large a risk.