Well I don’t think anyone has missed the new of late with Microsoft buying Skype unless you happen to be living under a rock these days. The good news with healthcare is now we have a new tool to share information with Skype! If you are in health IT technology then you are more than fully aware of all the work and time that is presently going into the telehealth efforts, with getting software that can properly make a video connections and also allow for the doctor to properly document and have all of this be HIPAA compliant. There are many programs of this type either in beta or just being tried currently in the healthcare system.
Until such time that more “telehealth” communication software and devices come to the market and are available, the good news is we have “Redneck Telehealth” available today, courtesy of Microsoft and Skype! There are no promises here of having any HIPAA compliance; however it sure can be awfully convenient to use when you want it.
This notion all started out with a friend who had an outbreak of gout on his foot and was out of town and consulting with his doctor across the US and was ready to board a plane going overseas. He had called his doctor who was not set up with any of the new telehealth programs and software that is just now becoming available so I said “get your doctor on Skype and put your foot up there for him to see”. It makes sense to me as as you know with Skype you can easily create a conference video call and show your foot to anyone else who might care to see it too. Obviously this is not a perfect situation for either side for a real diagnosis, but as the old saying goes a picture is worth a 1000 words and that’s what this would do.
After finishing the call with the doctor, one could have a video foot conference if they wanted:) Again this is not an official diagnosis process but it would be just the same as showing your mother, your friend and so forth a video picture of your foot. At least via video it doesn’t stink either.
If you were wanting to contact let’s say Mom and talk about your foot and she saw the big ugly toes on the screen, she would tell you to see your doctor as soon as possible as well as tell you to start taking better care of yourself, as that’s what Mom’s do best.
I did ask Microsoft if they were thinking about doing anything with Skype as far as healthcare and/or HealthVault, and was told, yes they have their thinking caps on as they already have some of their own technologies in house, but realize too that Skype has had the market covered for a number of years and many already know how to use it. Actually there are some applications in Skype where other companies have done some work already, like Nuance with their being a certified Skype partner so no worries now as Microsoft is more than certified, they own it:)
So for all of you out there who might need a visual or video for whatever your needs are, until we have certified a sophisticated HD telehealth tools out there in numbers, we have “Redneck Telehealth” at our fingertips at any time, again thanks to Microsoft and Skype! BD