Archive | Telemedicine

Telemedicine for Neurology and Child Psychiatry

There is no doubt that telemedicine has the potential to offer some advantages in improving access of rural patients to hospital specialists.  The Scottish Centre for Telehealth has been doing a lot of work in this field, and its growing website is an indication of the growing use expected in the future.

The latest cutbacks might accelerate plans to implement videoconference consultations – albeit as a way of reducing the actual clinics provided in remote and rural areas.

However it seems that the suitability of telemedicine consultations can be specialty-specific, and some would argue that larger benefits are to be gained in review appointments compared with first-appointments.  In addition, there is a balance between telemedicine allowing greater access to mainland specialists to rural communities, versus its use to pull physical services away.

These two articles from the Scottish Medical Journal caught my attention recently – providing a review of telemedicine in two particular areas…

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dot.rural

Dot.rural aims to bring together researchers from a wide range of disciplines, in order to explore the digital challenges and opportunities for rural communities across the UK.  Based at Aberdeen University, they have focused on five channels: Accessibility & Mobilities, Healthcare, Enterprise & Culture, and Natural Resource Conservation.

They have recorded presentations and documents from their seminars and made them available as videos – worth a look.

One particular presentation from their Healthcare channel has a very direct relevance for future remote and rural medicine.  Alasdair Mort, Healthcare Research Fellow, has been working on ways of using technology to improve the prehospital emergency response, and seems to have a very pragmatic view of the challenges experienced in this field.

His presentation is available on the Dot.Rural website here (turn the volume up and fastforward a minute)… plus there is a YouTube video below with further information.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukrjhIM0JhU&feature=mfu_in_order&playnext=1&videos=ZiseKXuj2Vw

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Tips for Teleconferencing

teleconferenceThe RCGP Rural Forum regularly uses teleconferencing to link up members from across the UK.  It saves money and time, and is particularly useful for rural practitioners who would have prohibitively long journeys out of their practice area to attend meetings.

Teleconferencing is widely used for other purposes too – and its use is likely to grow, especially as the technology becomes more widely available.  It’s already very easy to set up a teleconference via providers such as BT MeetMe.  Skype allows connected users to form a teleconference of up to 8 participants completely free.

However, what happens once you’ve got your teleconference set to go?  It can be easy to assume that it’s an easy thing to do, however without being able to see other participants, it can quickly become difficult to keep control of the agenda, and make for productive conversations.

Here’s two articles that help to explain the “etiquette” and some useful tips to bear in mind when having teleconferences.

Videoconferencing needs similar considerations, however we hope to run an article on the do’s and don’ts of VC in the near future.  If you’d like to contribute to this, please get in touch.

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Scottish Centre for Telehealth Conference

All the presentations from February’s SCT conference are now available from here.  [Dec13 – sorry, link no longer active, presentations no longer appear to be available]

Topics include establishing where Scotland is at now with its telehealth strategy, managing long term conditions at home with telemedicine, clinical photography, dementia & telehealth, and involving communities in service redesign.

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NHS24 in Rural/Remote Areas

You may be aware of an excellent source of R&R research – Rural & Remote Health.   Thanks to Gordon Baird, who flagged up an interesting article into how the out-of-hours telephone service NHS24 (similar to NHS Direct in England & Wales) fares for remote & rural communities.  Direct link to the article (including PDF) here.

I’ve also added a new RSS bar on the left – this now links directly with the current contents of the European issue of R&RH.

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James Ferguson on Telemedicine

Clip from Lesley Riddoch‘s BBC Scotland show on 18 January 2008.  James Ferguson is Consultant in A&E Medicine in Aberdeen, with an interest in telemedicine – he’s part of the team at the Scottish Centre for Telehealth.  He covers topics related to remote medicine, including hospital closures and using technology to reduce the problem of distance.  Recommended listening!

[podcast]http://cdn2.libsyn.com/rqs/January_18__2008_Teleheath.mp3[/podcast]

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Lesley Riddoch on Telehealth

Lesley Riddoch, an excellent broadcaster on Radio Scotland, interviewed some top names in Telehealth in 2007.  Although it was recorded 2 years ago, the standard of broadcast is high and the programme is more about what telemedicine could eventually achieve.

Those interviewed are: Dr Leonard Witkamp a dermatologist and Director of the Telemedicine Centre in Holland; Dr Richard Scott of the e-Health Research Programme at the University of Calgary and Prof James Dunbar of Dept of Rural Health at Flinders Univ in Australia.

[podcast]http://www.lesleyriddoch.co.uk/files/health_chat.mp3[/podcast]

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