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Telepresence Ready to Elevate Existing Telehealth Offerings

August 12, 2011 - 0 Comments

They may live far from renowned urban medical facilities, but some people in rural Canada benefit from cutting edge medicine through remote health care. As an article in The Globe and Mail explains, these patients have access to telehealth programs that include daily computer check-ins to monitor vital signs and overall well-being. Patients’ entries prompt healthcare providers to follow-up by phone when something is off.

This telephone and Web-based version of remote health care offers the consistency of care that patients living far from their doctors so desperately need. But could it be even better?

One of the article’s readers thinks so. In the comments following the piece, the reader asks, why not make the connection via video so that the provider can “see the patient in real time?”

We couldn’t agree more. With video technology like telepresence, the ability to see the patient through a high-definition image allows the doctor or nurse to gather a more complete picture of how the patient is really holding up. The patient can also share physical symptoms, use body language to help describe his or her condition, and benefit from the peace of mind of knowing that the healthcare provider had no other distractions while focusing on their case.

Canada’s telehealth programs provide a great example of the potential for technology to enhance health care, especially for people with chronic conditions who need meticulous monitoring. We are excited for the potential to reach an even higher quality of remote care by incorporating telepresence into the programs. Considering the positive reception to the existing technology, we think telepresence’s ability to make an even more personal connection between distant patients and caregivers would make it a very welcome addition to these remote healthcare offerings!

Would you rather “see” your doctor from home than talk on the phone or write on the computer? Let us know!

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