Technology is constantly advancing, and the need for new ways of communication are being invented rapidly. When the Covid-19 pandemic reached its peak, many countries went into lockdown, limiting physical human interaction. The world had to find new ways to communicate effectively while controlling the spread of the disease.
Telepresence was the answer to the limited physical human interactions, and many sectors embraced it, including healthcare. Telepresence has also been instrumental in advancing women’s sexual health. If you have not experienced telepresence, here is what you need to know about it.
What Is Telepresence?
Telepresence refers to a set of technologies assembled together to allow an individual far away to feel as if they were present in a different location. The device usually uses high-definition video and audio to make the presence of a person clearly in the place the device is used. Telepresence can appear in different forms, such as vision and sound, manipulation, movement, or a combination of both.
Example of Telepresence
Telepresence can be applied in various sectors, including healthcare. In healthcare, telepresence is commonly used during remote surgery. When a doctor is attending to a patient, they can use a telepresence device to speak to another doctor or a specialist.
Many women do not know how to seek treatment regarding their sexual health, and most usually end up visiting a general healthcare practitioner. In women’s sexual health, several specialists can treat or manage certain health conditions. When your doctor is treating your health condition, they can use telepresence to consult with a women’s sexual health specialist or send information to them before asking you to visit them.
Benefits of Telepresence
Here are some of the benefits of telepresence:
Better Patient/Doctor Interaction
Sometimes a physical visit to the doctor can be daunting, and most patients will not reveal everything needed by their doctor. Telepresence can help patients feel free to interact with a women’s sexual health specialist who is not near them, especially if they feel their condition is extremely private. Telepresence can also help improve doctor-to-specialist interaction because it removes any disruptions making the healthcare providers concentrate on the task at hand.
When you visit your doctor, and they note that you might need to see a specialist because of telepresence, you or the specialist will not have to travel unless necessary. The specialist can be present in your doctor’s office using a telepresence device. The specialist can speak to you and exchange information with your doctor without traveling, reducing travel costs.
Telepresence allows doctors and healthcare specialists to work from anywhere and attend to patients in different healthcare facilities. Before the technological advances in communication, specialists had to move physically from one station to another, reducing productivity due to wasting time and fatigue. With telepresence in place, women’s sexual health specialists can give their services to various patients in different hospitals while working from one location.
Challenges of Using Telepresence
One of the challenges of using telepresence is the high cost of telepresence devices. Few healthcare facilities can afford telepresence robots or have the budget to maintain them. Privacy and security are still an issue because most telepresence devices use the internet, and some people can hack the servers and access private patient data. Incompatibility and low-quality devices can also affect the use of telepresence, such as a low-quality camera will affect the images seen by a specialist, leading to inaccurate diagnosis.
Telepresence devices can provide a realistic interaction between a patient and a doctor, ensuring the patients get the best healthcare service. Telepresence can also improve healthcare provision in areas where video conferencing lags behind. However, some areas need improvement, such as low-quality devices, expensive devices, and securing patients’ medical records.
Author bio- Jane Silverstein is the owner of Soul Source Therapeutic Devices located in Los Angeles. She is committed to women’s health issues and to helping women worldwide regain and/ or maintain their sexual health. She is passionate about helping others and has always been involved in a multitude of charitable causes.