Tag: telemedicine video conferencing equipment

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.

Do-It-Yourself Telemedicine Solution for an Ebola Isolation Unit

CDC Ebola unit suit

Being on the front lines of Ebola containment is a frightening job. Protective measures include setting up check-in stations outside of the hospital, wearing heavy duty face shields and decontamination suits, duct-taping layers of gloves to sleeves, and using telemedicine technology. In fact, Nebraska Medical in the lonely Midwest has taken Ebola treatment and prevention to a new level with its use of HD video telemedicine and hands free medical technology. Using technology like digital stethoscopes, X-rays with wireless transfer, and real-time video allows it to keep Ebola treatment safe yet personal. It has successfully saved all two of its Ebola patients and has made Nebraska Medical a CDC model of care for fighting Ebola. It was also recently awarded a 10M telehealth grant by CMS.

VSee Lets You Do Telemedicine On the Cheap

However, you don’t need a 10M telehealth grant to set up a telemedicine isolation unit like Nebraska Medical – which uses Vidyo, a very expensive and complex system.  VSee simple, secure telehealth lets you set up interactive HD video telemedicine for your isolation unit in just about 2 hours. Unlike Vidyo and similar systems. VSee’s peer-to-peer platform does not require any complicated server setup or maintenance. Furthermore, VSee’s simple design allows you to easily integrate telemedicine devices without any additional equipment or complicated configurations. VSee even allows you to send up to 4 device images simultaneously so you can see both the patient’s face and the device images without toggling or doing special video mixing.

To start using telemedicine in your isolation unit, all you need is a few pieces of easily obtainable equipment:

Setting Up Ebola Telemedicine in Less Than 3 Hours

To set up your system, download VSee to your computers. For the isolation unit PC, configure VSee to auto answer mode: Go to the VSee address book, click Settings–>Preferences–>Automatically accept calls. VSee allows you to add only selected VSee accounts to auto accept calls to ensure security.

VSee auto call accept

To set up your PTZ HD camera: Go to the VSee address book, click Settings–>Audio and Camera Setup. Select your PTZ camera from the camera pull down menu.

VSee Camera Setup

And if you’re not ready to “do-it-yourself”, VSee offers a pre-configured isolation unit to get you started.  Please contact sales@vsee.com and join Dr. Gavin MacGregor-Skinner and other VSee users in fighting Ebola with telemedicine today.

 photo courtesy: CDC Global via Flickr

Mobile Health Clinic Brings Care to John Steinbeck’s Agricultural Workers

mobile_clinic

The WorkWell Medical Group has turned a used bus into a new mobile health clinic so they can take their urgent care services on the road. The urgent care center is based in the Salinas California immortalized by John Steinbeck in his novels and is located in a still a largely agricultural area.  The urgent care center serves several large agriculture processors, as well as schools, federal and county agencies, and retailers.  Building the mobile clinic is the brainchild of Dr. Vikram Mittal and his wife Dr. Sheilaja Mittal who have wanted to make it possible to make their services more easily available to agricultural workers and vulnerable members of their community.

The mobile clinic, which features VSee video telemedicine, is designed to be able to perform the same level of medicine as their regular office clinic. The July 3, 2013 publication of The Californian notes:

It is equipped with a heart monitor, lung evaluation equipment, two exam rooms and the ability to suture cuts in the field.

It also has a state of the art telemedicine system that can transmit patient data to doctors at the South Main clinic in real time so they can listen to heart beats and see pupils remotely.

You can read the full artilce here: Mobile Clinic – The Californian

A Review of Telemedicine Video Conferencing Solutions at ATA 2014

VSee ATA 2014Thanks to everyone who came out to see VSee telemedicine video conferencing solutions at this year’s ATA 2014 expo.  We had a great exhibition with an overwhelming show of interest in our eVisit products for online video doctor visits.  Our only disappointment was that our favorite video conferencing competitor, Vidyo (which also provides great quality video), decided to change booths at the last minute from their original booth space #2414 right next to ours to #3413 way out yonder on the ATA show floor wilderness.  We were looking forward to our usual friendly rivalry at this year’s ATA exhibition, but I guess they were feeling shy – oh well, maybe next year 🙂

Polycom, Cisco, LifeSize, Vidyo vs. VSee

Other than Vidyo, the usual suspects were also out on the ATA show floor strutting their stuff — Polycom, Cisco (Tandberg), LifeSize.  Since we get quite a few questions about what makes VSee telemedicine video different from these other guys, I thought it might be a good time to give a bird’s eye view of the differences.

Polycom, Cisco, and LifeSize provide legacy video conferencing systems (a.k.a. traditional video conferencing systems).  This requires purchasing expensive hardware.  It also requires dedicated infrastructure which is complicated to set up and expensive to maintain.  Both of these make expanding telemedicine endpoints pricey and difficult.  The good thing about such systems is because video is running on the system’s dedicated hardware you can expect standardized video and audio quality.

Vidyo is a little different from Polycom, Cisco, and LifeSize in that it’s a software solution, so it’s cheaper because you’re not required to purchase as much fancy hardware equipment.  However, it still requires dedicated infrastructure which translates into expensive servers to maintain and extra servers to purchase when you want to scale up.

For a more detailed discussion of Legacy video conferencing systems check out this discussion with expert Rich Griffin or this post on room-based video conferencing systems.

What Makes VSee Different

VSee video platform is a very different beast from these legacy video conferencing systems.  Like Vidyo, it is a software-based video platform, but that’s where the similarities end.  Unlike Vidyo (and everyone else) VSee uses a peer-to-peer structure which eliminates the need for a dedicated infrastructure.  Instead, of routing video streams through expensive dedicated servers and network, VSee uses a directory server to look up the endpoints which want to talk to each other. Video is then streamed directly from endpoint to endpoint over a regular network, so all you need is a computer with a webcam, mic, and Internet connection running the VSee app.

This and VSee’s low bandwidth consumption makes it very simple for doctors to connect to patients virtually anywhere in the world, especially in remote and rural areas. The downside of this simplicity is less predictability with video and audio quality since you may not know what kind of network or computer endpoint is being used. Also see this more comprehensive list of features that make VSee video chat ideal for telemedicine.

So in a nutshell:

Legacy Pros

  • standardized video and audio quality
  • compatible with other legacy video conferencing systems

Legacy Cons

  • expensive hardware to purchase and maintain
  • complex infrastructure to set up
  • expensive and complicated to scale up

VSee Pros

  • extremely simple to deploy and scale (since no infrastructure to set up)
  • low bandwidth allows connection to rural and network-challenged areas
  • less expensive than traditional video conferencing systems

VSee Cons

  • video and audio quality dependent on network and user device
  • not compatible with legacy video conferencing endpoints

If you have other questions, feel free to let us know!

Doctors on Demand – Telehealth Services to Video Call Your Doctor Now

doctor on demand Times magazine

excerpted from Time magazine

Online virtual doctor visits are a growing breed of telehealth services beginning to dot the healthcare landscape.  Companies such as MDLIVEAmerican WellTeleDocGoogle Helpouts, and Doctor on Demand offer virtual care services that are designed to give you immediate access to a doctor so getting medical attention is more convenient and accessible for everybody. This means no more sitting around urgent care waiting rooms full of germs and sick people just to get seen for a minor cold.  It also means you don’t have to take a big chunk of time out of work or haul a sick child down to an office to see a doctor.  Instead, you can get on your laptop or mobile device and easily have a doctor see you virtually from the comfort of your home or office.  Depending on your needs, there are a range of telehealth and telemedicine options out there these days for online doctor consultations.

More Ways to Get Health Care Online

For a quick diagnoses and prescription for something like a cold or yeast infection, Zipnosis offers 5 minute online doctor diagnoses at $25 per illness.  You can also get fast answers for your health condition using popular smartphone health apps like AskMD and HealthTap which give you free access to instant doctor answers.  Full-fledged live doctor video consultations with primary care physicians, specialists, and therapists are also now available.  Virtual care platforms that have these services include MDLIVE ($45/consultation for doctor or therapist), American Well ($49/consultation), TeleDoc ($38/consultation + $150 annual membership fee), Google Helpouts for Health (price set by individual health providers), and celebrity newcomer, Doctor on Demand ($40/consultation).  You can check out our list of virtual consultation service reviews here.

Dr. Phil Showcases Online Doctor Video Visits

Doctor on Demand Dr. PhilEven TV health personalities like Dr. Phil are getting into the game. Dr. Phil recently featured the Doctor on Demand telehealth app on his own TV show as well as on The Doctors. In addition, he is one of the funders of Doctor On Demand (along with an impressive list of investors including Venrock, Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, and Athena Health CEO Jonathan Bush). He also sits on its advisory board and happens to be the father of one of the co-founders, Jay McGraw.

Doctor on Demand allows you to see a doctor without being a part of a health plan or employer group.  It charges based on time (like lawyers) rather than a per visit fee at a $40 per 15 minutes rate.  It also employs doctors to work scheduled shifts rather than having doctors subscribe to the service to see patients whenever they have down time.  Its pay model allows physicians get to take home $30, while Doctor on Demand gets a $10 cut.  Doctor on Demand consultations are currently available in 31 states, including California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

Video Visits With Your Doctor A Growing Frontier

Even without media hype from Dr. Phil, Dr. Stork, and Dr. Oz, virtual doctor visits are a clearly growing healthcare option. Long touted as a solution to healthcare accessibility for patients in underserved and rural areas, telehealth is also seen as a way to help lower healthcare costs and improve effectiveness, cover doctor shortages anticipated with the Affordable Care Act, and to make healthcare more convenient overall.   Furthermore, video doctor visits are also benefiting doctors.  According to a recent study, 80% of doctors are using mobile devices in their day-to-day practice, and MedCity reports that “many are choosing to work remotely and consult with patients on video chat services

Are you ready for video chat visits with a doctor?

More Telemedicine Articles…

Business Insider breezy read – “There’s A New App That Will Let You Have A Real Doctor’s Appointment Using Video Chat On Your Smartphone

Modern Healthcare reports TeleDoc study – “RAND study cites telemedicine benefits: lowers costs, expands access

Fast Company on Google Helpouts, Google’s new marketplace for healthcare experts – “The Doctor, Veterinarian, and Lactation Specialist Will See You Now—On Video Chat”

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