Telemedicine Software Platform
Telemedicine software delivers numerous benefits for healthcare provider organizations and individual physicians. These benefits are the strongest and most obvious when the platform itself is software-based, as opposed to hardware-based.
Telemedicine Hardware’s Inherent Limitations
While hardware at either end of the telemedicine is of course essential to telemedicine consults, hardware-based telemedicine platforms have inherent limitations, such as costly proprietary devices. These expensive clinical endpoints quickly grow obsolete. Because most are single-function, telemedicine hardware “upgrades” are usually achieved by producing new devices, requiring additional investment by healthcare providers. Off-the-shelf cameras and computers often have superior technological capabilities – at a fraction of the cost.
Learn More About REACH Telemedicine Software
Another major disadvantage of telemedicine hardware platforms is the scarcity or non-existence of data and analytics. While some hardware vendors can provide very basic statistics centered on network uptime and usage, they cannot provide detailed data that reveals opportunities for telemedicine program improvement.
So why are hardware-based telemedicine platforms so limited? Because they were not designed in a hospital by clinicians looking to optimize patient care. Instead, these hardware platforms were adaptations of existing technology, most notably conference phones and robots.
Telemedicine Software’s Unique Advantages
In contrast, telemedicine software provides much more than a simple AV connection between doctor and patient. Many telemedicine hardware vendors have recently begun to incorporate software components into their products, recognizing telemedicine software’s distinct advantages.
Telemedicine software from REACH Health allows healthcare providers to choose their own clinical endpoints, based upon the care setting and service line requirements. In some situations, a telemedicine cart may be the most appropriate endpoint, while a laptop or tablet PC may work best in other situations.
Another major advantage is the ability to assess clinical and performance metrics – at the provider, facility, service line and network levels. As hospitals face constant pressure to deliver quality care to a larger number of patients at a lower cost, telemedicine software data is vital to identifying areas for improvement.