Can Video Conferencing Be as Easy as Telephoning?-A Home Healthcare Case Study
Currow, David Christopher
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In comparison with almost universal adoption of telephony and mobile technologies in modern day healthcare, video conferencing has yet to become a ubiquitous clinical tool. Currently telehealth services are faced with a bewildering range of video conferencing software and hardware choices. This paper provides a case study in the selection of video conferencing services by the Flinders University Telehealth in the Home trial (FTH Trial) to support healthcare in the home. Using pragmatic methods, video conferencing solutions available on the market were assessed for usability, reliability, cost, compatibility, interoperability, performance and privacy considerations. The process of elimination through which the eventual solution was chosen, the selection criteria used for each requirement and the corresponding results are described. The resulting product set, although functional, had restricted ability to directly connect with systems used by healthcare providers elsewhere in the system. This outcome illustrates the impact on one small telehealth provider of the broader struggles between competing video conferencing vendors. At stake is the ability to communicate between healthcare organizations and provide public access to healthcare. Comparison of the current state of the video conferencing market place with the evolution of the telephony system reveals that video conferencing still has a long way to go before it can be considered as easy to use as the telephone. Health organizations that are concerned to improve access and quality of care should seek to influence greater standardization and interoperability though cooperation with one another, the private sector, international organizations and by encouraging governments to play a more active role in this sphere.
Copyright © 2016 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).