Case Studies

Building Telemedicine Infrastructure in Iraqi Kurdistan

I had the privilege of traveling to Iraq Kurdistan twice in the past two years to help bring much needed telemedicine infrastructure and surgical services to refugees and the local inhabitants. For this I have to thank the work of  renowned hepatic surgeon Dr. Gazi Zibari.

 Dr Zibari builds telemedicine infrastructure in KurdistanContinue Reading…

Neurologist Using Telemedicine to Transform Epilepsy Care in Underserved Countries

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Dr. Greg Lipscomb is a neurologist with a mission: to transform epilepsy care in underserved countries. And he’s doing this with the help of telemedicine and telehealth technology.

Many patients with epilepsy in these countries are are misunderstood and face social stigma. They are considered crazy or supernaturally afflicted, and often do not get the right treatment and medication. In fact, many think that epilepsy is contagious and do not realize that it can actually be controlled with medical treatment.

While social and cultural beliefs will take time to change, something can be done about providing medical treatment for epilepsy now. This year, Dr. Lipscomb brought EEG machines in Tenwek and Kijabe Hospitals in Kenya. He trained 4 technicians to use the machines in 5 days. However, the story does not end there.

The talented technicians in Tamwik Hospital, Kenya

The talented technicians in Tenwek Hospital, Kenya

“VSee allows my my project to be a success”

Even though Dr. Lipscomb is now back to his work and family in Montgomery, Alabama, he still continues to teach the staff in Kenya – using VSee’s telemedicine technology.

He says, “The ability for me to continue to train and talk with the techs is a giant answer to prayer as well as benefit.  I was only able to spend a week with the techs, which is impossible to train them everything, but with this [VSee], we can do lectures, view patients as they are being connected, answer questions, and give feedback on EEGs done.  VSee will allow my project to be a success.”

kenyalipscomb

Just recently, with VSee’s low bandwidth requirements, they were able to do a group call between the technicians in Kenya and another consulting specialist in the US. They used the screen share feature to discuss the EEG results and Dr Lipscomb was impressed with how quickly the technicians learned.

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Next stop for EEGs and telemedicine neurology training

Dr. Lipscomb’s next project is to bring solar powered EEG machines to a mountain area in Haiti by early next year. The EEG tests will be stored in the local machine and information will be sent to specialists across the globe.

With today’s technology, quality healthcare can reach everyone!

 

TIC+ Provides Anytime Online Counseling for Teens in Crisis

tic online counseling for teens

It’s tough being a teen – we’ve all been there and can relate. Often all they need is someone who will listen and provide support. While technology brings with it problems like cyber-bullying, it also provides solutions like online counseling for teens and their families, so they can privately talk to a counselor online from anywhere at just the right time.

That’s what Teens in Crisis (TIC+) is all about. With qualified professionals*, TIC+ provides face-to-face and  online counseling to support children and young people aged 9-21 and their families living in Gloucestershire, UK. And they’re using the VSee Waiting Room to do it!

Check out how they do online counseling in the video below or watch the video here

As one changed teen writes, “I finished with my counsellor about a year ago but I had seen her for well over a year, thanks to hundreds of extensions to our sessions. She was fantastic and she helped me so much. She was the first person I felt understood me, really cared and I was able to talk to easily…. Without her, my life would be so different, if I was even still alive by now. She helped me made so many big decisions and changes in my life. She is just incredible and so is this charity.”

You can learn more about the great work TIC+ is doing in the lives of our teenagers here.

*TIC+ is a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)

Telemedicine Improving Access to Healthcare in the Philippines

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I’m not sure what we expected when we first stepped into the GALA Shelter for street kids. But we were surprised and touched by how well-behaved and respectful the children were. They greeted us with big smiles, and a polite “Good Afternoon,” then touched our hands to their foreheads – a sign of respect to elders in the Philippines. They quickly ran to set up chairs for us to rest, even though we didn’t have time to sit, .Continue Reading…

VSee Helps Elizabeth R. Griffith Foundation Stay on the Forefront of Zika Care

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It’s been almost two years since infectious disease expert Dr. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner first started using VSee to help stop health epidemics. Back then his team was on the ground in West Africa, fighting the Ebola outbreak. While Ebola is still a concern for them, they have also turned their attention to a new threat – Zika. They have been working on a needs assessment for the Zika virus in hospitals and labs across five countries, which they just finished in April.

You can check out Dr. MacGregor-Skinners C-Span interview on handling the Zika virus here.

Dr. Macgregor-Skinner is the Global Projects Lead at the Elizabeth R. Griffin Research Foundation and the Director of Global Disaster Response at Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

With his wide experience in public health and emergency response, he was one of 18 experts whose research and contributions resulted in the recent report titled “Effective Public Health Communication in an Interconnected World: Enhancing Resilience to Health Crises,” published by KYNE and News Deeply. In it, he highlights technology platforms that were deployed on the ground in West Africa. He singles out the power of VSee telemedicine, which enabled physicians to monitor Ebola patients from thousands of miles away. VSee’s telemedicine platform meets all his criteria for communication platforms of the future:

  • strong visuals,
  • user-friendly design,
  • round-the-clock availability, and
  • easy-to-access portals.

You can read the full report here.

The VSee team is grateful for the amazing work of people like Dr. Macgregor-Skinner and glad that we can contribute new telehealth technology that is helping to save lives.

HealthPartners Chooses VSee For Telehealth Partner: A Case Study

healthpartners telemedicine cart

If you’re looking for ways to connect providers and staff at a distance, check out this case study on one of  our telehealth projects for HealthPartners.

It showcases a scalable telemedicine solution we designed for Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota. The solution allows Regions to share their top-notch specialist resources with a neighboring hospital that lacks these resources – in particular, Regions is able to provide on-call neurologists for stroke and other cases. 

VSee was among four video telemedicine platforms evaluated for the project. Ultimately Regions chose VSee over three other large, well-known competitors. VSee’s telehealth expertise and its simple, yet full-featured solution made it the “superior” choice for the project.

Some VSee solution highlights include:

  1. Simple one-click sharing with live annotation so that attending and consulting physicians can review CT scans together in real time
  2. The ability to quickly design and implement a customized interface that integrated into its current workflow
  3. Custom interface is designed to scale triage & specialty consults to other departments such as burn, trauma, etc. 
  4. The ability for consulting physicians to answer a call from their mobile devices
  5. The ability to remotely control pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras so distant physicians can examine patients from afar.
  6.  Cost savings!

Read the full case study to learn more.

NASA Moon Walk Simulation Program Depends on VSee

Earth with cloud cover and moon

VSee is not only NASA’s only official video platform for astronauts aboard the International Space Station.  It’s also a key tool for the Simulation Exploration Experience (SEE), a university-level modeling and simulation experience of a lunar mission that is spearheaded by NASA.Continue Reading…

VSee Telemedicine Used to Successfully Diagnose ENT Cases in Rural Rwanda

Rwanda telemed pilot

A few weeks ago in mid-November, VSee got to be a part of a really neat field test using telemedicine to bring Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialist care to rural Rwanda.Continue Reading…

Telemedicine for Self-Sustainable Healthcare in the Amazon

eKSS Amazon health traininge-KSS, an international non-profit, has been working for almost a decade with the largest Amazon indigenous federation (Federação das Organizações Indígenas do Rio Negro – FOIRN) to develop culturally-appropriate and self-sustainable healthcare solutions for the Amazon’s indigenous people. It has successfully established the first-ever indigenous people’s telehealth network, Continue Reading…

VSee & CEP America Use Telemedicine to Help Iraq Kurdistan Refugees

VSee is humbled to be a part of an effort with CEP America to bring medical expertise to Iraq Kurdistan using telemedicine. It’s especially relevant as Continue Reading…

Medwand Uses VSee to Win Health 2.0 Launch! Award

MedWand Virtual VisitAmong the many ingenious healthcare technologies debuted at this year’s 2015 Health 2.0 fall conference in Silicon Valley, VSee partner MedWand stood out to win the Health 2.0 Launch! Award. The Launch! Award has previously been won by innovative health startups such as Castlight Health and PracticeFusion.Continue Reading…

Apollo Hospitals Establishes Telemedicine in the Himalayas

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Thirteen thousand feet above sea level in the Himalayan Mountains, Apollo Hospitals has set up one of the highest telemedicine stations in the world! This government-assisted project, known as the Himachal Pradesh Telehealth Services Project, aims to make quality healthcare more accessible to the people of this remote region of northern India.Continue Reading…

VSee, Dell, & UMMC Telehealth Bring Neurologists To High School Football Games

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Christy Lewis Photography in Marion

Telehealth is rapidly proving its worth as way of broadening access to healthcare. Now, an innovative coalition of medical providers, technology companies and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) is using telemedicine to test a new way of caring for Mississippi football players who experience concussive injuries: providing telehealth concussion evaluations right on the game field.

Telehealth concussion evaluations to help high school football players

University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) will lead the study, using technology from Dell and VSee to determine the usefulness of providing on-the-spot concussion evaluations for high school football players who are injured on the playing field. The study looks at the use of video conferencing to provide concussion evaluation by physicians for football players at 10 to 20 high schools in Mississippi during the 2015 football season. These sites will cover urban, suburban and rural locations to ensure a diverse sample during the pilot project. The pilot will begin on August 21, 2015, and the technology will be available to the selected schools through the duration of their seasons.

In partnership with VSee, Dell will offer a low cost, HIPAA-compliant, video telemedicine platform with VSee software, which can connect remote physicians with patients anywhere in the world via the Internet. In this study, the system will connect a remote physician with an athlete on the field for the concussion consult. Dell will provide Windows tablets with built-in high-definition cameras, to facilitate the video consult.

At the end of the football season, UMMC’s Center for Telehealth will provide metrics to the NFHS to show how often the system was used and to measure the effectiveness of on-field telehealth concussion evaluations by a physician. The NFHS is interested in scaling and replicating this program broadly, so a thorough evaluation of the program will help the group determine if this technology can improve the way coaches and other athletic officials respond to concussive injuries. Results from the study are expected to be available during the first half of 2016.

Head injury is common among high school football players

Renee Fernandes/NATA Aaron Ellis, MEd, ATC, LAT, the athletic trainer at Kimball High School in Dallas, TX helps kids on the field and on the sidelines during the football team's opening game.

Renee Fernandes/NATA
Aaron Ellis, MEd, ATC, LAT, the athletic trainer at Kimball High School in Dallas, TX helps kids on the field and on the sidelines during the football team’s opening game.

The NFHS study will address a serious issue in high school football. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, “more than 300,000 sports-related concussions occur annually in the U.S., and the likelihood of suffering a concussion while playing a contact sport is estimated to be as high as 19 percent per year of play. More than 62,000 concussions are sustained each year in high school contact sports, and among college football players, 34 percent have had one concussion, and 20 percent have endured multiple concussions.”

A rare but often fatal condition, second impact syndrome, can occur when an athlete suffers a second concussion before fully healing from a previous concussion. This is why immediate evaluation is so important. If a concussion diagnosis is missed, and the athlete continues to play, a second concussion could prove catastrophic.

If the study shows better outcomes for injured student athletes who receive immediate evaluation, the technology may see widespread use in other sports venues. Many schools currently rely on local volunteer physicians for on-the-field care, which is a less-than-ideal situation because volunteers may not always be available when needed, or they might lack the needed expertise in concussion evaluation. This is especially true in small towns with limited medical resources.

For volunteer physicians who are willing to be at the game but don’t have expertise in sports-related injuries, the ability to consult, on the spot, with a knowledgeable colleague, would no doubt be welcome. And for coaches who have no physician on the field, a virtual consult via telehealth technology could lead to better decisions about when to let a student play and when to keep the athlete off the field. And while concussions are the number one concern, telehealth consults could be used to evaluate a wide variety of other common injuries, including heat stroke, which has also claimed the lives of young athletes.

Original post on Dell Blog here, by Fadesola Adetosoye – Telehealth & Telemedicine Practice Lead, Dell Healthcare & Life Sciences

 

Genesis TPM Brings Video Consultations to Chronic Condition Management

chronic care condition managementGenesis Total Patient Management (TPM) is a proven chronic condition management tool that allows patients and providers to work together to manage chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, PT/INR (Management of Blood), hypertension, and obesity. Now, Genesis TPM has extended its services by partnering with VSee to provide telemedicine.

With VSee telemedicine, Genesis TPM can easily connect patients and providers for live video consultations. Together they can review the patient’s data face-to-face and come up with a plan to manage the chronic condition. Patients can also connect to a care team member if anything comes up.

Of course, that’s just one part of Genesis TPM. Their interactive online portal lets patients track their health data, upload personal medical records information, and securely invite all their caregivers to participate in their progress. It brings together school nurses, caregivers, and family members, who can receive alerts and updates on a patient’s condition. Participants also have access to home charts, caregiver notes, health plans, prescriptions, and educational links. There is even a secure Social Medical Network where patients can get support from other members sharing common issues.

Some Ugly Chronic Condition Statistics

According to the CDC, about half of all adults in the United States have a chronic health condition, such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, asthma and obesity, and 1 in 3 have multiple conditions. Estimates of US health spending place direct costs at 176 billion for diagnosed diabetes alone. Moreover, research shows that about 50 percent of medications for chronic disease are not taken by patients as prescribed, leading to approximately 125,000 deaths and at least 10 percent of hospitalizations.

The good news is that there are lots of things we can do to prevent and lower chronic condition incidences, and chronic condition management portals like Genesis TPM play a critical role in this, leading to less health spending and improving the lives of those with chronic conditions.

Why Genesis TPM Works

Genesis Total Patient Management

For geriatrician Dr. Diane Clarke, Genesis TPM has made all the difference both for her and her patients. She loves the real-time data she receives with Genesis. It allows her to see if a patient is taking his or her medication, how he or she is feeling, and what diagnostic test has been done by other providers. It also lets her learn instantly about something in the immediate environment which is affecting a patient’s health, rather than hearing about it 2 weeks later…when a patient is in the hospital.

Another important aspect of Genesis is much-needed patient education. A study from Preventing Chronic Disease Journal found that patients receive education about how to manage their conditions in less than 50 percent of outpatient visits. The Genesis Learning Library is a ready-to-go resource for patients and providers. In addition, patients and caregivers can upload videos and other materials to share with each other for a customized education.

Research also supports the effectiveness of patient self-management in improving outcomes for people with chronic diseases. Because the portal empowers patients to control their own data and collaborate with caregivers. Genesis can say with confidence that it provides a truly evidence-based and patient-centered tool.  Dr. Clarke says, “I have found that Genesis TPM has provided a means of giving my patients more contact with me and a sense of decreased anxiety, since they are being provided with a means of doing something for themselves.”

With the current reimbursement CPT Codes, Genesis TPM can even provide a valuable source of revenue for participating caregivers.

The good people at Genesis TPM have given rave reviews to VSee for the quality of our video. Likewise, the VSee team is proud to be part of this much-needed solution.

VSee for Harvard Physicists

We’re tickled to find an enthusiastic user of VSee in Dr. Gerald Gabrielse, the current George Vasmer Leverett Professor of Physics at Harvard University.

VSee started off as an experiment of another researcher — VSee CEO Dr. Milton Chen, who wanted to be able to do simple, fast collaboration with anyone from a distance.  So we’re happy that VSee is also making it’s mark on the general scientific community.

Dr. Gabrielse does particle physics research. According to Wikipedia, his group is primarily known for “experiments trapping and investigating antimatter, measuring the electron g-factor, and measuring the electron electric dipole moment.” About VSee he says:

We use VSEE only once or twice a week, but we like it very much — especially the low bandwidth requirement and the screen sharing. The only missing feature for us is the ability to patch in a regular phone call when one of us is traveling.

Stream Multiple Cameras Simultaneously on VSee

He explains that the other problem his group faces is getting  a clear view of the people on either side of the conference table. They typically they have 3 to 6 persons at a site and has a hard time getting one camera to show the entire spread of the room. However, VSee’s auxiliary camera feature solves this problem elegantly by allowing them to simultaneously stream videos from two separate cameras from the same computer. You can check out this blog on conference meeting layouts to see what I mean.

Dr. Gabrielse ends his note:

We otherwise are happy users of VSEE. Many physics groups in the US and at CERN have been exposed to VSEE because of our use. And, the many PhD students who use VSEE in my group and small collaborations move on to a large variety of government labs and universities.

Of course, Dr. Gabrielse is not the only researcher to find that VSee is excellent for collaboration.  The NASA-led lunar expedition simulations program and public health expert, Dr. Gavin MacGregor-Skinner at the Elizabeth G. Griffith Research Foundation also uses VSee for fast communication across distances. In addition, VSee offers free Plus accounts to students 🙂

Thank you, Dr. Gabrielse, for sharing with us the importance of VSee in your work!

Apollo Hospitals Partners with VSee with Goal to Care for 1B

apollo hospital India

Apollo Hospitals has selected VSee to provide video telemedicine in India. As India’s largest and most innovative hospital chain, Apollo aims to serve one billion people.

Apollo has already deployed 115 telemedicine units across nine countries – and now VSee is an integral part of that mission toward telemedicine reach both inside and outside of India.

VSee Live Medical Device Streaming for Rural India

Apollo regularly conducts comprehensive health screening camps across the subcontinent. With VSee’s innovative video technology, Apollo’s screening staff can use mobile devices to live-stream device data – using devices like otoscopes, pulse oximeters, and ultrasounds – to qualified doctors far away. In addition, VSee uses very low-bandwidth and has been successfully used in places with limited connectivity such as Chad refugee camps and Nigeria offshore oil platforms. These capabilities will dramatically expand Apollo’s reach into rural areas of India where there is a huge lack of quality healthcare . The potential for saving lives is huge.

Founded in 1983 by the US-educated Dr. Prathap Reddy, Apollo Hospitals is India’s first multi-specialty private sector hospital and has won multiple awards for excellence and innovation. It was the first hospital to create standards for maintaining clinical quality and is a leader in fighting the growing number of people affected by heart disease in India. Apollo has also been a pioneer in using telemedicine to improve healthcare – starting their first pilot project in 2000. They selected VSee for its simplicity and the ability to operate over mobile and other challenging networks.

Why VSee Free Video Conference for Education – A School Technology Integrator’s Review

* VSee group video chat is FREE for education.  Just sign up for your VSee account using your .edu or country-equivalent address. Please contact us for your free education account if your institution does not have a .edu email.

Guest blog by Claudia Novak, former Technology Integration Specialist at Nashua NH School District and technology expert for the New Hampshire Geographical Alliance.

school technology integration

For the past 20 years, I have been a Technology Integrator for the 17-school Nashua NH School District. One of the most powerful tools I have used has been video conferencing– both with my students and my teachers. For my teachers, it has been a great way to do training and problem solving when I couldn’t be at their school. For my students, it was a great way for them to connect to students at other schools within the school district or around the globe or participate in my Virtual Fieldtrips from anywhere .

Over the years, I have used several software solutions and even expensive dedicated IP to IP hardware solutions. No matter what software product or hardware solution I used, there was one huge issue – our school district’s lack of bandwidth during peak times of Internet usage. The other issue was ease of use for my teachers.

VSee – It’s Really That Simple for Teachers To Use

About 2 years ago I was introduced to VSee on an education blog. I downloaded the product on my laptop and my iPad. It didn’t require administrative rights for my teachers to download it to their laptops. It didn’t require special setups by my teachers to connect to the laptop/iPad camera and audio. I just sent them an invitation and they were up and working with me in a matter of seconds. It was that easy to use.

My first true test of VSee was when I did a series of video conferences from Gdansk, Poland. I was a tad worried since the hotel I was staying at had horrible Internet connection. I had about 15 classes that were ‘connecting’ to me 1-on-1 over a 3 hour period with teachers that had used VSee only when I was there to help them out. The teachers were using both laptops and iPads.

I was HUGELY impressed. No problems and every class got to spend time with me asking all their questions without any video or audio breakup. Better yet, not one teacher had an issue connecting to me and I didn’t have to spend any side time emailing or chatting with them about technical issues.

Since then, I have used VSee exclusively not only for my Virtual Fieldtrips but also connecting to my teachers within the school district. VSee is the only video conferencing product that I have used with such low bandwidth that I could have excellent video and audio even during peak times in my school district.

Video Conferencing Beyond K-12 Education

I recently retired from education and am now working with the New Hampshire Geographical Alliance (NHGA) to help promote geographical education not only in K-12 environment but with universities, too. It is a very active group and one of the issues we have is travelling to meetings. At our last meeting, attendance was low because of the 2+ hours drive under difficult winter conditions, so I introduced VSee to our group.

In April, I used VSee to host our first sub committee (4 members) meeting and we got SO much done without leaving our homes.  Everyone was highly impressed with the quality of video and audio and ESPECIALLY the ease of use with multiple platforms.

I am greatly looking forward to how this video conferencing solution will aid all educators concerned with geography in New Hampshire!

Thank you, VSee. Kudos to VSee and its staff!

 

New Telemedicine Partnership with MyVitalz Remote Patient Monitoring

Easy Remote Patient Monitoring

VSee has partnered with MyVitalz, a company that provides simple remote patient monitoring for the home. With MyVitalz, patients keep their care team updated with their biometric health data (such as pulse and temperature) once they return home from the hospital. Now, with VSee’s Virtual Waiting Room integrated into MyVitalz, patients can also securely talk face-to-face with a member of their care team at any time through any smart phone, tablet or computer.

MyVitalz Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Banghart notes,”We looked long and hard at several video conferencing options that would compliment our MyVitalz Remote Patient Monitoring platform. VSee stood head and shoulders above the rest for several reasons: ease of use, HIPAA-compliance, 256-bit AES encryption, innovative waiting room and clinic platform, great customer service, and minimal latency, if any.”

embedded waiting room

Patient View

 

MyVitalz VSee Waiting Room Dashboard

Provider View

Banghart explained that many veterans return from their tours of duty with post-traumatic stress disorder. When they go home, they want to be able to talk to a counselor face-to-face. Video is key to providing care to our veterans, especially since many are living in rural areas without easy access to a VA medical centers. He adds, “VSee gave us another tool in our tool box that we can share with our customers to help complete their telehealth needs. A patient is literally one click away from a virtual face to face meeting with their doctor or nurse. This is especially valuable in mental health and chronic care platforms.”

Adam Darkins recently released a report showing how telehealth has tremendously benefited veterans and reduced the VA’s annual health care expenses. The report showed that in 2013:

  • Home telehealth services reduced bed days of care by 59%,
  • Home telehealth services reduced hospital admissions by 35%, and
  • Clinical video telehealth services reduced bed days of care for mental health by 38%.

You can read another study that found similar benefits for veterans here.

Everyone at VSee is super excited to provide our video technology to MyVitalz for all the great work that they do.

The Two Biggest Pain Points Telemedicine Practioners Face

With the walls coming down on telemedicine reimbursement and physician licensing, many doctors are looking to start practicing telemedicine –  either adding telemedicine to their services or starting their own online clinic. We’ve been talking with front line telemedicine practitioners about their biggest pain points in doing telemedicine and discovered that there are two common problems that most telemedicine providers are facing:

1. There isn’t a single complete telemedicine product that has all the online tools providers need to conduct their online practice.

Providers need at least three different tools to practice telemedicine: 1) video chat, 2) scheduling, and 3) collaboration and management such as storing/accessing doctor’s notes, patients information, secure email/messaging, admin portal, etc. Since these tools are usually not packaged together, providers end up having to use three separate tools to conduct a single telemedicine session.  This means that doctors and staff have to spend time learning to use three different products. Worse still, they also have to manage all these tools during a telemedicine visit. Practically speaking, this means dealing with about a million open windows on the screen for a telemedicine session.

2. Scheduling systems are not web-based.

Most doctors work in a clinic or in an office that hosts its own EMR and/or scheduling systems. This is because in the past keeping patient medical records on site was considered more secure. Recently there has a lot of debate now about whether cloud-based (i.e. web-based) systems are just as secure – which is another story. However, the outcome of this is that doctors practicing telemedicine still need to go to their office or clinic to access their schedules. Sometimes they even have to use a specific computer just to check their appointment calendar. What they need is a telemedicine tool that is cloud-based so their schedules can be accessible from any device anywhere, including their home computer or smartphone. After all isn’t that the whole point of being able to do telemedicine?

Of course, doctors don’t have to deal with all that technical inconvenience. They could always join a telemedicine provider network that already has a platform with the telemedicine tools in place. There are a growing number of these such as MDLIVE, Teladoc, Doctor on Demand, American Well, HealthTap, etc….that are looking to employ doctors wanting a different lifestyle. But joining one of these telemedicine companies means giving up having your own online clinic and the freedom to practice medicine on your own terms.

You could also check out VSee’s new cloud medical office, which expands our OneClick Waiting Room with scheduling, online payment, and other features 🙂

What are your biggest pain points in practicing telemedicine?

Becoming An Online Therapist – VSee Interview with Dr. Nicholas Jenner

dr_jenner_homepageFive years ago when Dr. Nicholas Jenner began exploring the idea of online therapy there were very few online counselors or telemental health services. Like most people in private practice then, his motivation was simply to save his clients a drive from one place to another. Instead, online counseling ended up saving him.

At about the time he was looking into online therapy, Dr. Jenner had a serious accident which left him immobile for months. The only way to maintain his practice during his long recovery was by seeing clients online. Through trial and error, Dr. Jenner fine-tuned his best practices to replace face-to-face consultations with video consultations, and he was soon on the road to building strong online therapy practice.

Eventually, due to family circumstances, he moved to a rural part of Germany where there were very few if any potential clients. Again, it was his online therapy practice which allowed him to make such a choice. Today, Dr. Jenner has a successful practice that is 100% online. He sees people from all over the world and has virtually no extra time for walk-in patients. He starts his daily round of online counseling sessions “in” Australia and then moves across the globe to Asia and the Middle East and finishes his day in Europe. For Dr. Jenner, online therapy is “very, very exciting.” It brings him in contact with a host different kinds of people and cultures, which adds an extra dimension to counseling, making it that much more satisfying.

Using VSee for Online Therapy

We asked Dr. Jenner how he chose VSee for his online therapy practice and his advice for taking one’s counseling practice online.

Why did you choose VSee to be you video platform provider?

VSee was in a long list of programs I tried — Skype…Citrix, AnyMeeting, GoMeeting, even a service from the local phone company. VSee is the one that consistently provides me with everything I need to run my practice properly. It’s more likely to work in more locations, and that’s exactly what I need to do video counseling. I see VSee as a reliable partner in my practice, and for anyone starting an online therapy that’s essential.

Why not use Skype for online therapy?

Skype is a good product, but generally it just didn’t seem to come across as very credible. It’s generally perceived as a tool to keep in touch with family and just doesn’t feel very professional. VSee has give me that credibility that I can market myself as a provider who is very secure and private.

How did you build an online clientele?

I first started with a Google Adwords account, placing an ad in there.  I didn’t know if it would work, but I received lots of serious inquiries. Since then I’ve used more sophisticated marketing techniques. I also get a lot of word of mouth referrals, which is quite interesting when you work on a global basis. It’s amazing who knows somebody from the other side of the world, say from America to Asia. And my name has been passed across the continents quite often.

What was the most difficult part of getting your counseling practice online?

One of the biggest challenges with what I’m doing is the technical knowledge of the people you’re working with. They need a very very simple system that they click on, and they’re there. That knowledge can have a big impact on the end result. When it doesn’t go smoothly, clients panic and they don’t seem to have the technical knowledge to change that at the moment or they don’t want to.

What other advice would you give someone interested in moving to an online therapy practice?

Finding someone you trust to run your video program. Nothing is more frustrating than you’re in the middle of a session, and the video quality breaks down or the connection breaks down or something happens that doesn’t work. It can mean the difference between someone improving in therapy or staying the same. So technology and the right provider is really the key to doing the stuff that I do.

When you look at an all round package,you want not just the product, but the service that goes on behind it.  BingMin [VSee rep] has been a constant source of comfort to me. When things have gone wrong, I can contact him and he’s gotten back to me very very quickly.

You also have to distinguish between what’s wrong with the product and whether you have the right Internet connection.

What issue do you see arising as online therapy and telemental health become more popular?

Where there’s money to be made, the corporates will get on it, and they will employ armies of therapists, and the individual feeling between a therapist and the client will be lost to a certain extent. There will also be a number of people who shouldn’t be doing it who will. I’ve come across a number of those in the last year who, for example, are using Facebook chat as a way to diagnose serious mental health issues.

The ultimate thing that will happen is regulation. When regulation comes in, it will make global online therapy much more difficult to practice and not that it’s a bad thing, but it will change the face of the industry and make it more difficult for the people who engage in it.

Dr. Jenner is a licensed therapist in psychological counseling with a Degree in CBT techniques through the University of West of Scotland and a Diploma in Crisis and Trauma Counseling through the Caledonian University in Glasgow.  He is also an Associate Member of the Institute of Counseling and a Professional Member of the American Counseling Society.

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