Maybe You Can Use Your New Phone for Video Conferencing with Patients

May 18, 2011
Jill taylor

T-Mobile is offering credit for smartphone trade-ins, which is may be good news for Skype mobile users who are looking to upgrade their hardware.

T-Mobile is offering credit for smartphone trade-ins, which is may be good news for Skype mobile users who are looking to upgrade their hardware.

If you’re in the market for a new 4G phone, it looks like T-Mobile is offering the opportunity to trade in your current working phone and put the assessed value toward the purchase of new one. Word is that the company is taking most phones, regardless of brand or carrier, and offering trade-in values of up to $300.

I’m sure there are plenty of restrictions, and I’m not endorsing T-Mobile in any way. Also note that although T-Mobile is accepting iPhones for trade in, they’re not selling them, so if you’re attached at the hip to Apple products, this promotion won’t work for you. Still, if you’re interested in looking over upcoming phone prospects, the ThisIsMyNext blog has run down what customers can expect as soon as next month.

While the online community was discussing Microsoft’s purchase of Skype earlier in the week, it occurred to me that I know physicians who use the tool for personal communications and I wondered how many might engage in video conferencing for professional purposes. Turns out, a recent report by Manhattan Research was published online showing that 7% of physicians surveyed use video conferencing — despite issues regarding reimbursement, liability, and HIPAA.

It makes sense to me that telemedicine may be a way to reach more patients while at the same time increasing patient convenience. Video conferencing may even enhance the screening process for pediatric practices that employ nurses to take telephone calls from parents who are unsure if their children’s conditions warrant a trip to the clinic. As a parent, I know that there are circumstances under which I’d pay an additional fee for an online session with a medical professional.

Does your healthcare facility use video conferencing, and if so, what are the pros and cons that you’ve identified so far? Please share here.