Video-Conferencing Put Specialists in Front of Patients More Quickly

(Memphis) Many people use Skype and Facetime on line to connect with family and friends around the world.

That same technology is now showing up in hospitals to help patients get the immediate care they need.

Video conferencing is changing the way patients meet with specialists around the nation.

“We have doctors that call in from Boston and UCLA, Florida, Texas,” said Julie Horn of Baptist Hospital.

The video conferencing device, known as ‘Specialists On Call’, gets help to patients in less than 15 minutes.

“What it does is bring the specialist and the care of the patient who is having the problem, right there to the patient in a very short time frame,” said Horn.

Horn says this is extremely important if someone is having a neurological emergency like a stroke.

She says a premium specialist is not always available, but the high-tech computer, screen and camera changes that.

“That specialist on stroke care will appear on the screen when we call them and they will help us diagnose the patient, assess the patient and give us treatment recommendations to our emergency department physicians here,” she said.

Horn says, unlike Skype, the specialist on call system is extremely secure.

She believes the video conferencing technologies will be showing up in different hospitals in the future to bring specialists in psychiatry and intensive care to the foot of a patient’s bed.

“This is a technology that I think you’ll see growing,” said Horn.