The 5 things telemedicine experts should do to improve tele-auscultation
The world of healthcare is changing at a rapid pace. Telemedicine is an industry that promises to deliver care to remote patients, improve care-coordination and increase patient engagement in care, amongst others. But what are telemedicine companies doing to expand the type of care they provide? One such value added expansion is tele-auscultation.
Tele-auscultation provides doctors a way to listen to a patient’s biological sounds from a distance. A digital stethoscope is used to listen to these sounds, which are then transferred over the channel that is implemented at the point-of-care to a doctor or cardiologist on the other side. But is it this simple?
When evaluating a new service in any business, especially in telemedicine, it is important to take all the factors into consideration. These 5 steps will allow you to evaluate tele-auscultation as a valuable service that fits into your current service offering. This will ensure that you provide a value added service that enhances your current technology implementation and remote care while not compromising on quality.
1. Know what your users want
The users of any product or system are critical. Their inputs, needs and frustrations need to be taken into account to build better systems, implement useful functions and ensure buy-in and usage of solutions. Simple questionnaires help to get input from your customers. Use this helpful questionnaire if you are evaluating your current tele-auscultation implementation or this questionnaire if you are considering using tele-auscultation as a part of your services.
2. Understand the difference between various digital stethoscopes
Not all stethoscopes are created equal. It can be a daunting task to identify which stethoscope will suit your clinical needs, will easily be implemented in your current workflow, and won’t blow your budget. This easy to use specification sheet summarises the major digital stethoscopes and lists the features that you want to consider when choosing this critical piece of equipment.
3. Optimize your connectivity
When you have decided to implement tele-auscultation, your implementation strategy is key. You need to properly evaluate the technology so that it will assist your patient care team to properly interface with your consulting team. All connectivity interfaces must be considered, including digital stethoscope interfaces, audio channels, and audio devices. This will help you to provide the best quality sound for clinical diagnostics, while adding value to the care you provide. See this quick reference guide to make sure you have optimized your connectivity for tele-auscultation.
4. Provide valuable diagnostic information
Telemedicine providers must ensure that they differentiate themselves. This means implementing new digital health technologies that can improve outcomes and lower cost. This will also show your commitment to ensuring patients receive the best care, even though they are at remote locations. See this brochure, which shows how you can integrate valuable information from a digital stethoscope into any telemedicine system.
5. Enhance your sound quality
The human ear can hear sounds at frequencies of 20–20 000 Hz. When listening to heart or lung sounds, lower frequencies (50–1200 Hz) are the most important to hear. Unfortunately there is always environmental noise present. Digital health technologies can focus your ears ability to detect these soft sounds amongst noise. There are various other methods to improve the sound quality of your tele-auscultation system. See this guide to improving sound quality for tele-auscultation.
When following these 5 steps, you will ensure that you have thoroughly evaluated tele-auscultation as a novel solution to improve your service quality.