Questions To Ask When Choosing A Video Conferencing Provider

When choosing a video conferencing provider, there are many different factors to consider. Every client is different, so it is important that you make sure that your provider can offer exactly what you need of a solution in order to benefit your company at an efficient cost. Here are some questions to ask when researching video conferencing providers.

Do you offer a total solution?
It is important to be sure that you are getting the whole package with your video conferencing solution. Rather than asking if a solution has a few small details, make sure you ask about things that should be assumed, such as how it handles, monitors, updates and reports. Make sure the solution also has network control for bandwidth management and can enable access and supporting features such as a unified dialing program. It should also include firewall traversal to enable remote communication with employees, customers, suppliers and partners. From there, you can then add on various features that will enhance your system and ensure seamless voice and video connectivity. A complete solution that is designed properly will offer the best in voice and video with interoperability at a low cost of ownership. Asking the right questions is key because it is important to be sure that the solution you want is the solution you are going to get.

Does the technology offer HD?
When considering if the technology you want has HD, it is important to remember a few things about HD technology. Some providers have a different definition of HD video than a customer may have, therefore, not necessarily meeting the standards the customer is looking for. However, if the system Is properly engineered, the user will enjoy HD at any speed, assuring that the solution will repeatedly select the best resolution based on the speed of the call. However, some HD products are not able to work with other solutions from the same manufacturer, making the technology less valuable and difficult to use video conferencing in other locations with different pieces of technology.

Does the technology interoperate with other systems/services?
Not every company, manufacturer, client or customer uses the same type of video conferencing technology, therefore, your video system should be able to interoperate with other brand systems and services. Many solutions require workarounds that not only lower performance but can be very expensive and certainly not financially practical. When choosing a video conferencing system it is important to be sure that the system you get can easily operate with different types of technologies and can still function at a high speed.

Is the technology easy to use?
When implementing a video conferencing solution into a company, it is crucial to consider who will be using the equipment. If it is going to be made available to every employee, than it should be as easy as possible to operate. The easier a solution is to use, the more valuable it becomes to the company. An employee should be able to use video conferencing just as easily as dialing a telephone. It can be costly when a system is difficult to use, as it requires IT professionals to set it up and train users on the complexity of the equipment. When the technology is difficult to use, it can make employees easily frustrated and push them away from wanting to learn to use the equipment. With an easy to use solution, employees will be open to learning about the new technology and it will make communication within the company and to customers much easier. 

How can you improve mobility?
Video conferencing technology enables users to connect with one another at any location at any time. This kind of technology should theoretically make solutions mobile, as they can be implemented and installed at locations such as offices, home offices and can even be installed on mobile devices. Video conferencing allows employees to easily work from a home office without feeling disconnected from the rest of the company. Mobility options should allow an employee to feel flexible enough to be able to interact with clients and colleagues from any location. Telecommuting is becoming very popular in many companies, so mobile video conferencing products are a necessity. When choosing a provider, ask about mobile solutions and products, as they will ultimately be beneficial to your company.

How secure is your system/service?
A secure system is a safe system. While many systems are easily accessible for the convenience of the customer, a concern that companies may have regarding security is making sure the system is secure enough to prevent any sort of hacking or infiltration from outside sources. Video collaboration needs to be accessible for users across a network, however it also needs to be protected by the highest level of security, reliability and manageability. A solution should be able to carry high-performance video calls at low-bandwidth networks, ensuring the safest and most secure system.

Many companies require many different specifications when looking for a video conferencing provider. It is important to consider what exactly your company is looking for in a solution and what the provider can do to make it the most beneficial for your company. A provider should be reliable and accessible and is readily available for assistance when needed. When choosing a provider, consider the needs of your company and find the solution and provider that best suits you.

How Video Conferencing Is Helping Customer Service

Everyone has experienced a less than ideal situation with customer services at some point in his or her lifetime. With video conferencing technology, many common customer service problems can be eliminated. Video technology has introduced a way for organizations to provide improved support, efficient customer service and increased customer satisfaction.

Below are different ways video conferencing technology is helping customer service departments.

Personalize Customer Service:
An important aspect of customer service is a personal connection with customers. Often customers feel a disconnect when speaking with customer service representatives over the phone due to a lack of face-to-face interaction. On some occasions the representative is not even a person, but a recorded voice, which can lead to frustration an inefficient support. With video conferencing, a customer service representative can connect with a customer face-to-face and work with them to find a solution to his or her problem. This often creates the feeling of being in-person and having a customer service representatives full attention while also creating a personal connection which can increase brand loyalty.

Share documents or apps:
A very common problem that causes miscommunications between customers and customer service representatives is the customer’s inability to directly describe the problem they are having. It is often difficult for the customer service representative to understand because they cannot directly see the problem themselves. By being able to share documents and apps, a customer service representative can help figure out a solution to a problem by seeing exactly what the customer sees. A representative can even sync with your computer to see what is on your screen. This makes it much easier for a customer service representative to figure out a solution to the problem or to put the customer in touch with someone who is able to handle the situation.

Increase productivity:
Often times customers can be very impatient when it comes to a customer service call. With video conferencing, representatives can speak face to face with the customer to find a solution to the problem in the most efficient way. This also allows them to increase productivity by helping more customers in less time. This type of communication makes it easier for customer service representatives to do their job and ensures that customers are able to get their problem solved in the most efficient way possible.

Ensure quality service:
It is important to have someone who knows the technology well to run the video conferencing technology for customer service departments. Customer service departments can train representatives to become experts on  video technology and how to  provide the best service possible for customers. With video technology, if a customer service representative does not know how to help a customer, they could immediately transfer them to someone who does, rather than go through a grapevine of people who just keep transferring the customer to someone else. This ensures that the customer gets the help that he or she needs without being dragged through the entire customer service department.

5 Ways Video Conferencing Can Help Non-Profit Organizations

Video conferencing technology is rapidly changing how non-profit organizations run their programs, events and fundraisers. The growth of the video conferencing industry has allowed organizations to use video to reach out to a larger audience and interact with supporters and the public. Non-profit organizations are also able to use video to organize internal operations, such as volunteer training and keeping supporters involved.

Here are several ways that video conferencing is benefitting non-profit organizations:

Raise Funds and Awareness
It can be very difficult for small organizations to get their name out to the public, especially if they are competing against well-known larger non-profit’s. Video conferencing technology allows organization representatives to conduct webinars that demonstrate what the organization stands for and how it works to supporters and the public. This can also generate publicity at a much lower cost than putting on traditional events to get a name out. This method ultimately saves the organization money by allocating more money toward these virtual events rather than traveling expenses to advertise the organization. Creating webinar videos also allow the organization to be active online, including on social media outlets where people can share information with the click of a button and spread word quickly and efficiently. These online events and fundraisers can also allow people to donate online, and still interact with the organization and be a part of the event or fundraiser even if they cannot attend.

Spread the Word
With online video, organizations can reach out to the public in a more personal manner much easier than before. Non-profit’s can advertise themselves by using web seminars that give the public a closer look at the organization. This allows organizations to convey to supporters what they are doing and what their future goals are, giving folks an opportunity to see what their donations are being used for. With video conferencing technology, you can also keep supporters updated on new information about the organization and events. Using video also allows organizations to go mobile – creating apps that can allow people to donate to a non-profit easily.

Connect with Donors
Donors are an essential part of keeping a nonprofit organization up and running. Many donors usually have some sort of personal connection to an organization, and using video conferencing technology to keep that person connection maintained is key. Donating money to a non-profit organization is a very popular way that many supporters get involved. Those who donate play a very heavy role in the support of an organization, because without financial support, an organization cannot function at its fullest. However, there are some cases in which a donor does not have a face associated with their name. Video conferencing technology allows organizations to have face-to-face interactions with donors in order to make them feel engaged and let them know that their participation plays an important role in the organization, creating a special bond through personal connection.

Educate and Train Volunteers
It is important that volunteers are fully trained and equipped with the knowledge of the organization they are representing. If a volunteer is having trouble scheduling training sessions, volunteers can interact with a trainer via video conferencing or watch a previously recorded training session in order to gain the necessary education. Training volunteers is a crucial part of keeping a non-profit organization running, and having volunteers engage through video conferencing, webinars and online training sessions will ensure that volunteers are interacting with the organization and that they fully understand what the non-profit stands for and how it runs. If a volunteer does not understand his or her role in an organization, there is potential room for errors and misunderstandings.

Keep Supporters Involved
By being able to use video technology, you can connect with supporters on a more personal level by designing creative videos about the organization and any current announcements. Not only is it important for donors to feel involved, but for supporters as well. Supporters are very crucial to a non-profit organization, especially when spend a lot of their personal time doing volunteer work for a non-profit. However, many supporters may not know how the organization runs or what exactly their work is going towards. Webinars and even interactive video conferences allow supporters to connect with the organization’s managers and representatives to fully understand their role and how their efforts are being used. It also allows them to virtually interact with the organization to keep them aware of how the organization is doing.

How Video Conferencing is Benefiting Human Resources

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.

Major Announcements
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.

How Video Conferencing Is Changing Education

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.

Cool Use Case: Bringing Art to Life with Immersive Video Art Installations

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.

This Month in Telemedicine

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.

 

Policy Items
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.

Congress
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.

State Level
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).

How Video Conferencing Can Help Emergency Preparedness & Response Facilities

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.

Analysis
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.

Response
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.

10 Tips For Working Smarter & Saving Time

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.

9. Webinars
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.

This Month In Telemedicine – April 2014

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 Basics:
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.

Get Involved!
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.