Doctors using video conferencing to reach patients

A hospital in Spain has introduced mobile technology systems allowing patients to interact with doctors from home, using advanced video conferencing and remote viewing facilities.

The systems allow doctors to share information with patients and in some cases, recent surgery patients have been monitored via interactive systems installed in their homes. One of the participants, Nativo Mire Esplugues, has spoken positively of his experience: “I think the monitor was easy for me, because I don’t have to go to the hospital every day to do my exercises, and at home I feel much, much better.”

The specialised units, which consist of a touch screen computer, connect to the internet using 3G technology. This means the 85 per cent of over 75s without broadband can access the system, reports BBC News.

One of the doctors participating in the program, Dr Josep Comín has been monitoring a chronic heart patient through video conferencing, and is pleased with how effective it has been. Comín said: “The tool enhances self-care behaviour, because the patient takes care of his own condition.”

“In terms of cost-effectiveness, most of the interventions are made by nurses who have back-up cardiologists. It saves time as one nurse can take care of many patients at the same time,” Comín added. “[Patients] can reach professionals very quickly and easily, so there’s no need to transfer patients to other hospitals.”

The news comes shortly after the Winsford Guardian reported that Leighton Hospital in Winsford is creating a room on the premises for patients living with pelvic and urinary cancers that will incorporate video conferencing facilities. Gary Steele, who is working with the hospital to raise funds for the room, explained: “Doctors will be able to go into these rooms, switch on the equipment, and share data such as scans and blood samples through video conferencing.”