Archive for January, 2018

Telehealth: When Video Conferencing helps Medicine

January 9th, 2018

Telehealth, alias video conferencing applied to medicine, enables doctors to reach the patients that are dispersed on a wide territory at acceptable costs. In this way, it becomes possible to provide efficient health care services to rural communitie, despite ofthe funding cuts on hospitals

Imagine a scenario when a hospital with shrinking financial resources has to take care of a population widely dispersed on the territory and with a high percentage of children with heart diseases.  In the past, this meant to spend a lot of time and money on promptly dispatching ambulances, doctors and health personnel kilometers away to rescue someone that was about to die in a remote farm or hut; today, telehealth makes everything simpler and – last but not least – less expensive. In fact, in a world where babies learn first to use a tablet, than to walk, the application of video conferencing to healthcare can really make miracles.

In the given example, the necessary ongoing monitoring of the young patients with heart diseases has been made through Telehealth, anything else then a system of video conferencing. A video conference can be also helpful to alert the doctor when a patient shows worrying symptoms. In this way, the doctors working for the local hospital can take a close eye even on distant patients, without any need to physically bring them to a medical facility, and – the main important point – with substantial money saving.

Health diseases are not the only ones that can be managed through telehealth. Telemedicine schemes can be applied to a wide set of illnesses, as the power of modern video conferencing technology enables doctors to recognize symptoms even through a video conference.

More, this technology has been proved to be really effective on promoting cooperation among doctors and hospitals. Video conferencing solutions like, for example, R-Hub`s TurboMeeting (http://www.rhubcom.com), enable health-personnel to exchange important information like scans, exams, and  medical records in a video conference without any impairment of the privacy of the patients or any risk of data leaking. This aspect is particularly relevant, as in many countries the Law wants patient information to be kept confidential and health personnel are responsible for that.

Does telemedicine really work? According to many doctors’ opinions, yes, it does. It has certainly helped to save lives because video-conferencing allowed rapid action that couldn’t have been possible without. This is another reason to adopt this technology, apart from the usual financial considerations.

However, budget is important. According to a research published by the blog “Fierce Healthcare”, through telemedicine patients are able to save about 50$ in travel costs per visit and hospitals 25$. Then, it should be added the savings in terms of fewer days of hospitalization. In a world of decreasing financial resources for healthcare, video conferencing could thus become a strategic asset for any health facilities: Consider that only in the US cuts in health care are over 1.8 trillion dollars in 2018 (source:https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/26/16526458/2018-senate-budget-explained) , and Europe is going to follow soon.

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The 3 most Important Parameters to consider when configuring a Video Conferencing service for Virtual Workplaces

January 8th, 2018

Bandwidth, audio quality and room assessment are the three fundamental variables on which the effectiveness of any video conference service for virtual workplaces depends

As almost everybody knows, video conferences have become one the most important components of any virtual workplace, as they contribute to enhance workforce productivity, decision making, team building and customer support. However, like any technology, video conferencing meets the expectations of business organizations only when it has been properly configured.

What are the crucial parameters of which to take care, in order to have an effective video conferencing service for your business? The answer is quite simple: they are audio and video quality, bandwidth size and room assessment. Let’s see why.

1) Audio and video quality. The more powerful the audio and video quality is, the most similar to the real world the experience of the participants to your virtual events will be. This means much, especially in terms of communication. Consider that human communication is mostly non-verbal, and a significant part of the message gets lost during its transmission through a virtual environment.

The idea behind video conferencing is exactly to preserve the contents of the exchanged messages as much as possible, so that the experience in a virtual workplace resembles the one in a real office. This decreases a lot the risks of misunderstandings and makes the virtual office a quite comfortable place where to work with consequent increases in productivity and speed.

Poor video and audio quality will inevitably make your collaborators slower (they have to make up for the loss in communication) and the virtual environment uncomfortable, with the result to loose most benefits of video conferencing.

2) Bandwidth Size. We can compare bandwidth to the capacity of a pipeline. If the pipeline is large enough, data stream fast and without obstacle; if the pipeline is too narrow, data slow down with subsequent hassles, like image overlapping and lack of synchronization.

The result is that the quality of the video becomes so poor that it is impossible to keep attending the meeting for participants. The solution usually taken by users is to fall back to text chats, with the loss of the benefits of real stream collaboration through video conferencing.

This is the reason why it is so much important to optimize the bandwidth size when your organization plans to install a video conferencing service. The operation is not complicated in itself (there are some helpful formulas available to reckon how much bandwidth is necessary), and it can be made by any technician.

3) Room Assessment. The physical place where your team stays during video conferences must be conveniently arranged, in order to avoid the participants of your video conferences some common and annoying issues like, for example, data security threatens (people that spy passwords), noise  inconveniences  and incorrect backgrounds. A good practice is to devote a special room to video conferencing with white walls, minimal furniture, good insolation, proper enlightening, comfortable layout and microphones and cams already adjusted, so that to minimize inconveniences.

If you are interested in virtual workplaces and their problems, you are going to find further helpful resources and posts on R-HUB`s blog at http://www.rhubcom.com

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