Our interconnected, digital world continues to develop at tremendous pace, and the benefits to healthcare are illustrated with the introduction of online digital consultation.
Thanks to internet technology, patients can now receive expert advice via secure online services, such as the Digital Consultation Service International SOS has introduced here in Aberdeen. The service safeguards patient health and wellbeing while reducing operational costs.
The secure telemedicine platform provides video conferencing to perform return to work and routine occupational health consultations, which are often required by international oil and gas firms.
My colleague, Dr Shirley Kong, Senior Medical Officer at the International SOS, explains: “It can be time-consuming for a patient to physically attend a consultation appointment, particularly if they have to take time between assignments to travel to the clinic.
“Digital consultations prioritise patient wellbeing and safety regardless of geographical distance as well as offering cost efficiencies for organisations. Digital consultations also allow us to implement clear consistency and clinical governance – from the consent process to triage and clinical support.”
Patients can access the Digital Consultation Service from anywhere in the world to securely and easily communicate with a medical specialist. The service can be accessed on a range of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, laptops and PCs, and in low bandwidth areas.
In the internet age, data protection is essential. Utilising software that provides end-to-end digital data encryption, the service is fully secure and compliant with the data protection and security provisions required of medical information handlers.
It complies with both the USA’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (1996) and the UK’s Data Protection Act (1998) legislation and ensures full patient confidentiality.
The Digital Consultations Service works seamlessly with a suite of medical services for patients who may require more than a video conferencing appointment for occupational health purposes or before returning to work.
The International SOS Digital Consultations Service is a welcome development as it ensures unparalleled health and safety measures can coexist with efficient resource allocation.
Dr Michael Braida is regional medical director at International SOS