Could VoIP technology transform the patient-doctor relationship as we know it?

hospital VoIP technology

Posted by: Alex Reid, 21st September 2017

After last month’s unveiling of the first facial recognition system that can pay for your lunch, it is clear that technology is still continuing to change the way we interact with others. But could we be seeing a shift in the way that we communicate with our doctor?

Advancements in VoIP technology have recently led some hospitals to introduce a range of new equipment aimed at improving communication. Unlike more consumer-based technologies such as FaceTime, these VoIP solutions, including video and conference facilities, can be directly linked from the patient’s location, for example a nursing home, to the hospital, providing high definition interactions which can then be recorded to form part of a patient’s file.

The result? Remote doctor appointments, meaning some patients can stay in the comfort of their own homes; a move that is said to benefit those with regular appointments and check-ups by saving them both time and money.

Whilst some are arguing that face to face contact giving way to a virtual relationship could be detrimental, others are stating the opposite – instead claiming that this advancement in technology and shift towards ‘patient-centric care’ could in fact benefit many – especially those with conditions such as Alzheimer’s, where anxiety levels can be high upon having to leave the house.

Increasing VoIP technology in health care doesn’t just provide the opportunity for quicker and cheaper patient-doctor communication, it is also claimed to improve levels of patient care. By making conference and video capabilities available in hospitals, doctors are able to consult their peers, worldwide; a collaborative approach that surely has the potential to offer patients the highest level of care, regardless of location.

So how will this shift in technology impact jobs and skills gaps in the telecoms industry? Well, whilst some are arguing that this increase in technology will lead to a decline in clinical and administrative staff, one thing is clear – if this approach is fully adopted across the UK, telecoms will experience a huge increase in demand for developers and engineers to meet such a large-scale advancement.