Telehealth Rising: How AV Can Support this Important Tool

Virtual health appointments have become a staple in the medical field. If your facility is not using them yet, there is a good chance you will be soon. To help you prepare here is some information about equipment needed for telemedicine (like interactive AV solutions), telehealth tips, and what facilities need to know about this burgeoning solution.

The Surge of Telehealth 

While telehealth was already on the rise prior to COVID-19, there is no question the pandemic accelerated its prevalence. In fact, McKinsey found that “overall telehealth utilization for office visits and outpatient care was 78 times higher” in April of 2020 than it was just two months earlier in February of the same year. 

The research firm estimated around that time that up to $250 billion of U.S. healthcare spending could potentially be shifted to virtual or virtually enabled care. Fast-forward to the summer of 2021, and some of the initial surges have leveled out a bit. Now, McKinsey is reporting that telehealth utilization has stabilized at levels 38x higher than before the pandemic, currently ranging from 13 to 17% across all specialties.

Telehealth Considerations 

When you begin to evaluate various telehealth solutions, it is important to also think through environmental factors. For example, where will virtual appointments be held – inpatient rooms, or do you have a separate space dedicated only to telemedicine? Furthermore, there are technical factors to plan around. The general consensus is that telehealth sessions should not happen unless end-to-end encryption is in place and the patient can be in a completely private area. These are all important pieces of the puzzle to hash out.

AV Equipment Needed for Telemedicine

Next, you will need to account for all of the AV equipment that is necessary to foster effective telehealth appointments. Here is a brief overview (which is certainly not exhaustive and dependent upon what you already have and what type of platform you will be using): 

  • Interactive AV solutions (e.g. wayfinding, TVs, a tablet, computer, or other device to be used for the display)
  • Camera 
  • Microphone
  • Headphones
  • Soundproofing solutions (e.g. sound masking, if sessions will be held in areas that are highly trafficked or near other patients)

Telehealth can be both incredibly effective and cost-effective for facilities and is an option worth exploring. We recommend bringing in an experienced AV partner like PIVIUM early on, to advise you on the right AV solutions and equipment you need in order to get the most from this innovative health tool. We would love to help you get started!

Telehealth solutions are on the rise. Is your facility equipped for this new shift in healthcare communication?