It’s always great to see Skype helping businesses run more efficiently and cost-effectively, but it’s particularly gratifying when I learn about ways Skype plays a positive role in professions that directly impact people’s health and well-being.
That’s why I’m excited to shine a spotlight again on Skype in the medical field.
In the past years, we’ve heard quite a few stories of doctors and other healthcare professionals using Skype to interact with patients who may not otherwise have face-to-face access to them.
In some cases those medical professionals run businesses, and Skype helps their operations grow and thrive. In those instances, their Skype usage is the ultimate example of Skype helping a business “do well by doing good.”
Dr. Gregory Smith is a great example. LiveScience reports that Dr. Smith runs clinics treating people with chronic pain and addictions in Los Angeles and Fresno, California, two cities separated by occasional extreme weather.
Rather than missing appointments when he can’t drive between his offices, Dr. Smith conducts hundreds of appointments on Skype, ensuring patients get the care they need.
The article points out that for some patients, this type of treatment offers several benefits: therapists can be available to remote or isolated people, and it can be effective for people suffering from disorders that make leaving home more challenging.
CNN recently aired a segment showcasing a nonprofit organization that connects cancer patients with cancer survivors, to provide mentoring and moral support. The group, Imerman Angels, brings together some of those pairs via Skype.
And just last month, the United Kingdom’s Department of Health urged doctors to use Skype more to help cut down on missed patient appointments.
The recommendation came out of the success of pilot programs like that at Newham University Hospital, in which people with diabetes who didn’t need a physical exam were seen via Skype. Missed appointments fell by 11 percent, and patients say the quality measured up to in-person appointments.
Skype was founded on the idea that removing barriers to communication could literally change the world. We love to see the medical field helping to make that a reality.
Has your profession seen profound changes with Skype? Tell us about it.