Videoconferencing being used as part of treatment strategy

Monday, March 28 2011

You may not be able to administer medication over the internet, but specialists can use videoconferencing as a part of the treatment and monitoring of people with HIV and depression.

Telehealth has recently been gaining a lot of attention, and rightfully so. According to Fast Company, recent data from the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona in Spain revealed that their telemedicine program - entitled "Hospital VIHrtual" - is just as effective as a traditional hospital visit. The system, which started over five years ago, currently provides remote services to over 200 HIV patients.

The Group Health Research Institute also released data and found that using online tools to communicate with patients suffering from depression was just as effective as those people meeting with their healthcare providers traditionally.

Of course, meeting patients through videoconferencing and other online means like instant messaging could never replace visits to the doctor. The technology, however, complements the visitations by allowing healthcare specialists to communicate with their patients who may not have the ability to travel frequently for face-to-face consultations.