Video conferencing technology has certainly changed the way HR conducts business. One of the main ways being the recruiting process. HR representatives can now connect with people not only in another state, but even another country. With video collaboration, geographic barriers are eliminated and face-to-face meetings can be conducted regardless of the interviewee’s location. Utilizing video technology can save time and money while also being more productive by being able to interview a larger number of applicants more efficiently. Collaboration tools can help expand a company’s reach of candidates and build the best team possible regardless of their location. In fact, according to Polycom, 27 of the 100 best companies to work for have over 25% of employees outside the US. Video collaboration preserves the familiarity of face-to-face interaction for remotely dispersed teams who cannot meet in the same room.
Here are a couple other ways that HR teams can use and benefit from video conferencing.
Group Training & Learning Seminars
It can often be very difficult and time consuming to try to gather a large group of people together for training sessions, and traditionally if someone cannot attend then they miss out on the information being presented. With video conferencing, HR can efficiently conduct large-scale trainings by allowing employees to virtually attend the session from wherever they are located. Additionally, holding a group-training seminar over video, can allow companies to record the session and give employees who could not attend, the option to view the recorded session at a later time. Video training ensures that everyone receives important information and stays up to date on all company policies.
Video conferencing becomes extremely beneficial when it comes to company interaction. When major announcements need to be distributed around the company, rather than just sending an email or requiring someone to travel to multiple locations to deliver important announcements or messages, video conferencing has made it easy to distribute a message across an entire company, and have it recorded for later access. This is not only more efficient, but it also keeps remote employees feel more engaged and allows for the feeling of face-to-face interaction.
Reducing Cost and Creating Flexibility
Did you know that video provides a 32% greater reduction in cost per hire? Rather than spending an excessive amount of money traveling to different locations for training sessions or interviews, video conferencing technology allows employees to have face-to-face interaction without the extra spend. It has also allowed many HR employees to save time and better adapt to scheduling changes. By using video, HR employees are able to expand their reach of candidates and have much more flexibility with scheduling and resource management.
Education today is rapidly evolving and changing in order to keep pace with technological advancements and emerging teaching practices. By utilizing tools like video conferencing, educators are able to shrink geographical barriers and expand interaction potential by connecting students to other educators, students or experts regardless of location.
Here are some of the most notable ways that video technology has changed the world of education.
1. Collaboration with experts
Traditionally, students have been limited to the classroom and any resources they might have. However, with video conferencing, these resources are greatly expanded. With video collaboration technology, experts and other educators outside of the classroom can connect virtually to students and share expertise and experience regardless of location. This type of distance learning allows students to participate in new cultural and learning experiences that they may not have encountered in a traditional classroom. For example, rather than sitting and listening to a lecture on planets, via video conferencing, students can interact with astronauts or NASA representatives to learn about space. Students are able to interact with these experts in real-time, and reap the benefits of virtual “hands-on” experience in many different environments that they would normally not have the ability to encounter. The opportunities for this type of collaboration using video conferencing is limitless and will continue to expand learning abilities worldwide.
2. Virtual field trips
Due to many school districts experience drastic budget cuts and increasing academic standards, some schools have started limiting the amount of off campus field trips they are able to take. Similarly, some locations that educators would like students to experience are not geographically feasible. Using video conferencing for virtual field trips, students are given the opportunity to “travel” to locations that they normally wouldn’t be able to due to these budget or distance obstacles. It gives students the opportunity to have experiences that they wouldn’t normally be able to participate in and it gives educators the ability to take an ordinary subject and turn it in to an interactive teaching experience. Rural schools in particular can benefit from this use of technology by giving students the same encounters that their peers in larger cities are able to experience. The use of visual collaboration technology for virtual field trips can lead to significant cost savings, reduced liability, and the ability to participate in more field trips throughout the school year.
3. Connect with other schools
Another great use of video collaboration in schools is virtually connecting schools together. Bringing students together from different locations to interact with each other allows students to gain insights and another perspective from their peers, regardless of where the other school is located. It can help teach students how to collaborate and work together with people who may be different than them and teaches students a new kind of interaction that can help to enhance their interpersonal communication skills. Use of video conferencing to connect students can expose them to different types of classroom topics, challenges, and insights that they wouldn’t normally experience.
4. Personalized learning
With video conferencing technology, teachers can have more one-on-one interactions with students and adjust lessons plans accordingly to the needs of either an individual student or an entire classroom. It also allows teachers to interact with students outside of the classroom. If a student in unable to attend school due to some sort of medical emergency or any other kind of issue, a teacher can use video conferencing technology to keep a student up to date on classroom activity and assignments so the student does not fall behind. Not only does this benefit the student, but it also keeps the teacher connected to the class and each individual student.
5. Training and education for educators
On the administrative side, schools and districts can use video conferencing to efficiently conduct on-going education, training, and seminars without losing teaching time due to travel. Districts can also use video conferencing to connect with other district educators to share expertise and ideas with fellow colleagues. However, for technology to be truly effective, teachers and administrators need to be trained and educated on these tools. If schools are able to successfully implement video conferencing technology , distance learning can help diversify the classroom experience, reduce administrative costs, and provide endless amounts of newly discovered resources.
Image from Love thy Neighbor’s video installation demonstrates the connection to Lecoq’s movement techniques.
Image source: Calvacreation.net, © adag
Immersive Video Art Installations are adding a special twist to the world of art. Artists are now working with video technology in order to create 3D and interactive pieces that incorporate all of the senses. This kind of art is limitless – its interactive qualities allow an audience to fully immerse themselves in art and have a brand new experience that they never have had before. Artists have learned to take video technology and transform it to create sensational 3D pieces that a viewer can interact with.
Artists that create this type of art spend countless hours determining which technology, sounds, textures, and images to use to create a singular piece that creates a total immersive experience. Many different aspects of video technology play a role in the making of these kinds of artistic projects. Devices such as video projectors, multi-channel audio interfaces, three-dimensional mobile monoliths, loudspeakers and subwoofers as well as other audio and video devices and software packages are all used to create the installation. Some pieces occasionally include live performers, such as dancers. These artists are used to present the piece to the audience, rather than show a simple standstill video projection. Some artists include a motion sensor machine or pressure sensors that change depending on where a person stands or how much “intensity” the sensor picks up, and this presence causes the pieces to come to life.
What really makes this kind of art unique is the fact that many artists collaborate to create it; sound artists will work with visual artists and other technology based specialties to create an interactive piece. In many cases, these pieces will be adaptable to its surroundings; you can project the video art on the side of a building, in a small theatre, a dark room or any other kind of environment, depending on what the artists feels is the best kind of environment to set up the immersive installation.
Many artists would agree that art is more than creating a painting or a picture, it is about designing something that makes a person think and feel part of the artistic experience. An artist’s creation is a piece of them, and the ability to project that to an audience and allow that audience to immerse themselves in the experience and feel like they are a part of the art is the ultimate goal. It is important that an artist feels that his or her creation connects with an audience, otherwise the entire point of the piece is lost. This is especially true with video art installations with the purpose being for an audience to be able to work interactively with the piece of art. If this is achieved an artist is creating an endless amount of interpretations and inspiration.
Technology continues to influence almost every aspect of society, and this is just another amazing use case that is taking art to a new explorative level and creating truly immersive experiences for audiences young and old.
American Telemedicine Association’s policy duo Jonathan Linkous, CEO and Gary Capistrant, Senior Director of Public Policy, return with updates and new information regarding telemedicine.
What’s New With ATA
- ATA Fall Forum– Sept 7-9 2014 JW Marriot Desert Springs Resort
- First ATA meeting in China – October 28-30 2014
*more information can be found on the ATA website
- Learning Center – New! Online course was added; delivering online video based mental health services.
- Series of Guidelines for ATA – Two guidelines have been made available by ATA through a free download on their website: “Core Operational Guidelines for Telehealth Services Involving Provider-Patient Interactions” and “Guidelines for TeleICU Operations” Both of these guidelines have been in process for months and have been reviewed and some are even officially used by certain medical societies.
American Medical Association issued a policy that was approved, however ATA has some concerns about it. AMA passed a long resolution (Report 7 of the Council of Medical Services) that was strongly worded and supported the idea of telemedicine and stated telemedicine services should be covered and paid. Some standards are required including a valid doctor patient relationship, it must abide by state licensure laws and medical practice laws, patient must have a choice of provider of medical services and the provider must be licensed in the state the patient is located. This last standard is a major concern for ATA as it impedes state licensure policies supported by ATA.
ATA as well as other organizations have made it a priority to try to get Accountable Care Organizations and Medicare to have the same flexibility to use Telehealth as a Medicare managed plan. It is actually a very simple process, all it requires is trying to get HHS to waive the rules and allow Accountable Care Organizations to provide telemedicine wherever it is needed. HHS can waive these rules at any time, as it is not a legislative issue.
House Congressional Committee – Energy and Commerce Committee has taken the lead on putting together an agenda for Telehealth and public comments have been submitted, including some from ATA. This committee has a unique jurisdiction within Congress; they have the most holistic jurisdiction dealing with Telehealth, not only for Medicare and Medicaid, but the public health service programs of health and human services and the federal communications commission. They can bring together all aspects of it, for example one of the platforms we’ve been looking at is for federally qualified health centers.
Congress has to act by the end of March on a “doc fix”, which is a way of fixing how Medicare pays for physicians. Another bill, HR 3077 will be moved through Congress along with Congressman Harper’s bill HR 3306. HR 3077 states that a physician needs to be licensed in one state in other to provide help for beneficiaries outside the state the health profession is licensed. All bills have been bipartisan. Congressman Mike Thompson of California has dealt with major Telehealth bills in the past, and there will be a proposal for him that would focus on incremental changes particularly for the Medicare program that will be introduced sometime in July.
Host Small Business Committee – A Congressional hearing will be held focusing for small providers/practitioners, July 31st. Any small providers or solo practitioners can contact ATA’s Senior Director of Public Policy, Gary Capistrant, to see what opportunities are available to be involved in the hearing.
Last Friday FDA proposed to remove the requirements for 510K process for medical device data systems and communication and storage devices for medical images. Proposed to down classify, now they’re proposing to completely remove the enforcement of the devices and says they are low risk. Link to the document will be posted on the HUB for public comment for the next 60 days.
Tennessee has enacted legislation for private insurance for Medicaid and state employee benefits. 36 states had some type of telehealth legislation, and many improved Medicaid coverage plans and administrative actions (8 states have recently amended Medicaid coverage to improve the coverage of Telehealth).
Visual collaboration tools are quickly becoming a valuable asset when assisting with emergency preparedness and response facilities by allowing them to be proactive rather than just reactive. With the help of video conferencing, government agencies, police departments and health departments are able to broadcast important information quickly and accurately.
Here are a few ways emergency response departments can utilize video collaboration:
Early warning messages
A major issue that has certainly impacted many areas is the lack of warning before a storm; whether it is a tornado, tsunami or any other kind of major disaster. This lack of warning can result in people not having a sufficient amount of time to prepare and evacuate in time. Video technology allows weather facilities to communicate and evacuate towns or cities quicker and earlier. In order to help these processes run smoothly, facilities are also able to educate larger groups of people/audiences on emergency procedures by using video conferencing technology. This technology allows experts and professionals to conduct training programs to a larger group of specialists and authorities, which can increase efficiency and reduce costs.
Video conferencing technology can assist with calculating the best possible solution or operation plan for crisis situations. Teams can come together face-to-face regardless of their locations to debrief and analyze operations and disaster preparedness plans. This technology can also help emergency responders access important information in real time in order to efficiently make the best decisions. By having a consistent and successful plan, responders can confidently execute their emergency response plans in the most effective way.
Video conferencing technology has also made it easier for situations needing quick responses. Field responders can communicate face to face and in real time with response facilities to coordinate the best possible solution to the problem. This allows for producing and receiving up to date information regarding any emergency situation, allowing all responders to be on the same page with the least amount of confusion. Video conferencing technology also allows field responders to act quickly and get information out to the public at a rapid and productive pace.
Video conferencing technology has benefitted countless emergency response facilities by making it easier to communicate with responders, educating the public on emergency preparedness and by efficiently executing important up to ocanvadate information regarding any kind of emergency. It has allowed responders to think quickly and change any part of their emergency plan preparation based on the information they receive and keep the public updated on any new information. It has also ensured that any information presented to the public has been confirmed and is universal among emergency facilities, preventing any kind of confusion. Video conferencing technology has changed how facilities respond and act in emergency situations and benefiting the safety of the public.
We are constantly looking for ways to work smarter and save time. With the increased use of technology in the work place, many employees and employers find that technology can be distracting. However, when you are organized and know how to efficiently use technology, the results can be incredible. Here are some tips to help you stay on track and work smarter and how different types of technology can be beneficial and help you save time!
How to be efficient in the office:
1. Check your email first thing in the morning
Checking your email allows you to catch up on anything you might have missed since being away from your computer, or you could get messages from a co-worker asking about a project you are working on. Your email could have certain tasks set up that you need to complete that day, so by checking it first thing you’re already having a productive start!
2. Create a task list
Having a list of things you need to get done for the day will help you stay on track and prevent you from procrastinating. Allot a certain amount of time for each task in order to maximize productivity. You can also add tasks to your computer’s calendar. It is also a good idea to try to prioritize which tasks are the most important and should be completed first. Don’t overwhelm yourself by focusing on your task list overall; fully focus on each task and get everything done one by one.
3. Understand where/when you are most productive
There are certainly times throughout the day when you would rather sit at your desk writing something up than facilitate a meeting. Determine which tasks you are the most productive during certain times throughout the day. If you find that you are able to write better in the morning and feel more comfortable facilitating meetings in the afternoon, try to make your schedule fit to that.
4. Take periodic breaks
Try working hard for 50 minutes and then taking a 10 minute break. Rather than going on the Internet and checking out the latest celebrity gossip, walk to a different place in the office and maybe meet someone new. Walking somewhere will you’re your blood flowing again and you’ll feel refreshed when you sit back down to complete your next task.
5. Don’t take on more than you can handle
Focus on the opportunities that you are passionate about so you can work as hard as you can and fully focus on those opportunities. If you take on too much, it could become difficult to prioritize, thus creating unnecessary stress and the potential for problems.
6. Sleep is important!
Do not think that you should sacrifice sleep in order to be more productive. Sleep is crucial to being productive; it is a way for your body to rejuvenate and get ready for the next work day. If you ignore your body’s need to sleep, you will burn out much quicker during the day and be much less productive.
Here is how technology can help!
7. Going Mobile: Tablets and smartphones
By having technology such as tablets or smartphones, you can stay in touch with anyone, anywhere at any time. These devices not only make it easy to keep in touch with people but it also includes apps that we can use to make working outside the office much easier. There are now apps that will allow you to download and edit documents right onto your device, record notes and voicemails and even allow you to deposit checks without making the trip to the bank! Syncing a tablet or a smartphone to your main computer will help you keep your data together and make it easier for you when you need to find that data later on. You can also use these mobile devices to keep track of your task list and help you stay motivated and moving along, and keep your organized overall.
8. Video calls/conferencing
Rather than spending time and money to travel somewhere for a two day meeting, video conferencing saves both time and money by helping users interact via video calling. Video conferencing allows company representatives to have face to face interactions with one another without necessarily being in the same room, or even the same state! This type of communication allows companies to save money on travel expenses while still being able to efficiently interact with other companies. This kind of technology is also great for in company use, as those who are at locations outside the company headquarters can remain in contact with managers or other company employees while they are out on the job.
Webinars are great for learning about other companies or businesses. Just like with video conferencing, webinars are very time efficient and cost much less than traveling around to different companies and conferences. They are also a great way to get information out about a company and connect with viewers by answering their questions via live webinar sessions. They can also be recorded and accessed later on, allowing more viewers to watch the online post.
10. Google Applications
Most of the Google Apps are free and you can back up your data wherever you have internet connection. You can use apps that allow you to store web searches in a Gmail account, create a list of online contacts, share information with other users, and many other useful apps that can help keep a business up and running.
Telemedicine has grown over the last year. There are new applications in mobile health, a huge surge in online consultations, new biometric devices and large scale-deployments such as e-visits and remote monitoring. Today Telemedicine has essentially become “mainstream” in hospitals, the home, pharmacies and communities. It is a very interesting time to be in a changing health care system.
ATA has been transporting itself to new places. It is one of the fastest growing associations in America, which is also an indicator of interest in the field. Due to its supporters and users, ATA has grown and will continue to grow and be successful.
ATA is made up of 7,500 – 8,000 individual members; including clinicians, researchers, policy analysts, HIT engineers, doctors, allied health, administrators and consultants. It also includes 150 – 200 health systems and networks that are members. These include hospitals, universities, health systems, government, agencies, military and medical societies. Finally, the association includes private vendor companies such as equipment vendors, venture capitalists, outsourced specialties, private payers, start-ups and Telecom providers.
ATA on the State Level:
There is significatn work being done to improve state licensure and practice areas. ATA’s compact among states would accelerate the application process. Nurses have a compact that they have put in place that would allow a nurse to be licensed in one state and able to practice in another state. This opens the doors to the expansion of crossing state boarders to consult a patient.
- 45 states have policies on Medicaid that expand to Telemedicine
- 21 states have mandated that private insurers pay for Telemedicine
- 31 states have bills in for Telemedicine
ATA Standards and Priorities:
In order to advance Telemedicine and have it become a part of every day health care, there are guidelines in place to provide best practices and ways to use this kind of technology. Creating new guidelines begins with contracting out to researchers to do surveys and research on what has been don, and then complete a scoring process. Then, groups work on the standards and it goes back and forth internally to committees before finally going out to external reviews. After it goes out to public comment, it comes back for internal discussion and then it finally goes to the board.
With these standards and priorities set in place, it is important that the public feels assured that they are getting the best health care practices. The way that ATA ensures this is by increasingly working at the international level, collaborating with private organizations and by working with the media. ATA has been mentioned by various media sources over 200 times in the last month alone.
The ATA annual meeting is taking place on May 18-20 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. Stop by and visit IVCi at Booth #5926! Register here for a free exhibit hall pass.
American Telemedicine Association’s policy duo Jonathan Linkous, CEO and Gary Capistrant, Senior Director of Public Policy, return with updates and new information regarding telemedicine.
Mobile Health is making much more than a dent in the telemedicine industry; $161 Million has been dedicated to mobile health from 43 different companies in the last quarter. This is a drastic increase compared to earlier in the quarter when only $42 Million was dedicated to mobile health.
Currently the guidelines that involve mental health correspond with mobile health. ATA is currently in the process of doing an accreditation of mobile health care services online, and hopes to have it ready by early next year. This is a major step for ATA and for telemedicine. A Special Interest Group on mobile health is hosting a webinar on privacy and international applications in mobile health.
A component of the Affordable Care Act, which is currently being implemented, says that those in the health insurance exchanges have to support essential health benefits. However, there is no basis in the regulation to not pay for a telehealth claim. It is all supposed to be provided and covered on the same basis as in-person care.
The CMMI, or Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, continue to create funding opportunities either directly for projects or through the states. There is managed care within Medicare and Medicaid populations, most of the managed care plans have had the flexibility to use mobile health or other telehealth aspects. Hospitals have grown interested in home monitoring of people, and other aspects dealing with readmissions problems. Since Medicare cuts funding for hospitals not reducing their readmissions enough, many have grown more receptive of using difference health technologies such as mobile health.
Medicare Physician Fee Schedule
A major change that is expected in the new fee schedule for telehealth is CMS will use a much more open definition of rural health shortage areas that will allow telehealth to be provided on the fringes of rural areas.
Harper Bill, H.R. 3306 is a very notable bill for mHealth and has many bipartisan sponsors. Telehealth for Medicare ACO’s, or Accountable Care Organizations, currently don’t have coverage for telehealth in metropolitan areas, where most of the ACO’s are. The goal is for ACO’s to have full flexibility of telehealth.
It will also have shared savings for reducing Medicare readmissions. This proposal gives hospitals the incentive to do better than their own benchmark, in hopes of saving money for Medicare. It is an opportunity for hospitals to have some sort of income, and it will ultimately be a positive thing for patients. It will also target home dialysis, hospice, and homebound patients. Mobile Heath can cover these kinds of patients at home, and have the same kind of in person physician assistance.
There are also several other bills that are pending and being discussed. The Step Act (H.R. 1832) was enacted in December 2011. This act expanded the authority for the defense department to require only one state license for health professionals to operate in any state. This model is also being expanded to apply to two others, the VA: VETS Act, H.R. 2001, or Vets affairs facilities and TELE-MED Act, H.R. 3077, or the Medicare population.
Finally there is also the SOFTWARE Act, H.R. 3303, which is Sensible Oversight for Technology Which Advances Regulatory Efficiency and has been proposed by Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn. This bill deals with the volume of applications that have flooded FDA for mobile applications.
With the next generation of executives taking control over established companies, new changes are bound to arise. The 2013 Cisco Global Young Executives’ Video Attitudes Survey shows that many of these new managers are interested in video collaboration and plan on incorporating it into their business or company. Many new managers understand the benefits video can provide for their company, and some will not even consider working with other companies unless they use it as a tool.
The convenience of video conferencing is something that many young executives and managers are taking advantage of because it allows participants to read visual cues, “be there” without traveling, and have the ability to share content instantly. Constantly traveling in order to meet with clients or other people is time consuming and costly, not to mention frustrating when flights get delayed or cancelled. More organizations are shifting to visual collaboration as the technology continues to advance and creates interoperable and scalable solutions.
The data from the survey shows that many young executives plan on relying heavily on video conferencing to manage their business. Three out of five young executives say they will rely more heavily on video within the next 5 to10 years and 87% believe video has a significant and positive impact on an organization. These executives cite benefits ranging from enhancing the experience of telecommuters to saving money on travel costs and even attracting top talent.
Video collaboration is also an effective method of transferring information and connecting geographically dispersed people. It not only allows those within the states to contact one another, but it also opens up the global marketplace. Of the organizations surveyed that have less than 400 employees, 94% said they utilize video in order to break down language barriers in the increasingly global marketplace.
Telecommunication is a major appeal to prospective employees as well. In fact, 87% of respondents say they would choose to work for a video-enabled organization over a company that has not invested in business-class video communications. This is because organizations that invest in visual collaboration embrace the increase in technological advancement and are considered to be more innovative.
While video conferencing is a great tool for many companies, people are still wary of it. Survey respondents showed that their top five fears about video conferencing were: a messy office, personal appearance concerns, the inability to multi-task, the need to eat and some are not comfortable on video in general. However, as people utilize the technology more often, they will eventually become more comfortable with it.
The advancement of technology is rapidly increasing, and it is up to these companies and businesses to keep up. The new executives plan to do what they can to run successful companies, and telecommunication is a tool that will allow these companies to be successful.
Take a look at the slides below for more survey data.
The Cohen Children’s Medical Center, a part of North Shore LIJ, strongly believes that art is a crucial aspect of children’s hospitals, as it creates an optimistic and constructive environment. This kind of environment allows children to open up their imagination and begin the healing process. As a result, they implemented an interactive virtual aquarium to entertain the children who are in the pediatric emergency waiting room.
The inspiration of this theme came from Long Island’s very own ocean and shoreline to create a familiar setting for young children, making them feel more at home rather than in a hospital. A hospital environment can be scary for young children and having interactive technology that makes them more comfortable can make their stay much more enjoyable and entertaining. By interacting with the technology and creating their own underwater world within the digital aquarium, children can gain a sense of control, something they may have lost by being in a hospital.
Rather than sitting in an intimidating waiting room, children can now be entertained with the virtual aquarium, and interactive “fish tank” that allows children to create their own fish, and then launch it into the tank to swim among the other fish other children have created. The fish are virtually fed, and swim among other sea creatures, such as turtles, larger fish and live among sea coral. Fish and shells decorate the floors and walls, and the CT scan also has fish painted on it. The renovations have made the hospital more appealing to children, making them less fearful of their environment. “Years of planning went into making the new facility child-friendly. Kids almost want to be here,” said Dr. Charles Schleien, Chairman of Pediatrics, in an interview with Newsday.
IVCi was contracted by North Shore LIJ and The Rockwell Group to install the system which is made up of six LCD panels, each about 55 inches wide, creating a fifteen foot screen. Six iPads are used to control what happens on the panels and allow the children to create the fish they want. The main audio comes from two speakers located on either side of the LCD mounting frame, creating as real of an experience as possible.
See for yourself with the demonstration below!