Ovum talks video conferencing and healthcare: a new chapter in collaboration

(PresseBox) (London, ) The most cost-effective and efficient way for healthcare providers to deliver better services is to enhance the level of collaboration between different stakeholders. Video conferencing is the best platform to deliver these outcomes, according to Ovum.

In this latest report*, the independent technology analyst firm found that video conferencing will have a significant impact on care outcomes and patient and practitioner satisfaction when properly integrated into healthcare systems and working practices. It will play a vital role in the development of e-health as a central tenet of healthcare.

Charlie Davies, Principal Analyst, Telco Strategy at Ovum and co-author of the report said: "Video conferencing solutions must be tailored to various usage scenarios, ranging from disease-specific diagnosis and treatment between a care provider and patient to consultation between professionals. The equipment and networks required will also vary significantly, ranging from high-end telepresence reliant on a high-speed broadband connection to simple desktop and laptop services."

According to the report, video conferencing is helping to deliver results in a number of key areas:

- The development of specialised treatment networks - these rely on collaboration between professionals in multiple locations.
- More equitable healthcare - video conferencing is a particularly important tool in delivering better care to patients in rural areas by providing virtual access to specialists.
- Effective communication - face-to-to face communications is often richer and more effective and satisfying for both patients and care-givers

The long-term prospects for video conferencing are promising. The rise in fixed and mobile broadband connectivity, improvements in equipment interoperability and innovation in application and M2M development will underpin its development,

Cornelia Wels-Maug, Senior Analyst and co-author for the report comments: "Ovum believes that there will be considerable uptake of video conferencing due to the evolution of healthcare delivery. The increasingly central role of information and communications technology (ICT) will improve outcomes, allow remote consultations and save costs."

"Interaction between healthcare professionals, care providers and patients, as well as training and education, can be facilitated easily with video conferencing. The usage of video conferencing services among medium-sized healthcare enterprises across Australia has increased in the past year, said Wels-Maug.

"The faster pace of investment in e-health services especially in emerging markets in the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Latin America will spur further investment in North America and Europe as they compete in outcomes, particularly where healthcare providers compete in specific disease treatment areas."

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