Video conferencing has already helped to deliver teledermatology and health education services to GPs in rural practices in Powys, mid-Wales. The system, which directly linked a consultant dermatologist to 13 GP practices, allowed the consultant to view a patient's condition.
The system used a specially customised video camera - with special facilities to allow for accurate image transmission to the consultant. For a more detailed view, still images were captured, compressed and sent as data files.
The GPs also used the system to deliver lectures and hold workshops as part of Continued Medical Education (CME) to the geographically dispersed health care professionals within the group using multipoint videoconferencing.
Benefits of such a system are various and include:
- Confident diagnosis and treatment assessments via the link
- Continued medical education via professional consultations
- Reduced need for patients to travel to specialist centres
- Reduced travelling time for consultants
- Increased patient caseload due to reduced time spent travelling to consultations
- Cost-effective use of consultant time and savings due to reduced travelling
This system was developed by BT. Please contact Steve Webster at BT for more information.