Webcams have really changed the way we live our lives today. Whether it’s having the ability to chat with someone face-to-face from the other side of the world or watching live streaming of a street hundreds of miles away, webcams have made the world smaller. However, the functions of webcams stretch far beyond simply being able to catch up with a family member who is travelling. New, exciting, and innovative ideas are being put forward which can use webcams to save lives.
The idea for the use of webcams in conjunction with medicine is still in its infancy, however, great leaps forward have been made in the last few months. Imagine living in a rural area in the United States where the nearest large medical facility is hundreds of miles away. This is the reality for many people who don’t live in major cities. If any of these people suffer from a complicated medical condition it can be a difficult process to find a specialist and visiting the specialist can take up a whole day or longer. Although the majority of rural towns have local doctors, the majority aren’t trained in complicated medical procedures.
This is where webcams and medicine combine to create an amazing combination which can save lives. Some small rural clinics have now set up a webcam link to larger clinics where patients can chat to a more qualified doctor face to face. This can not only save travel time but also save lives if the case is an emergency. The idea of ‘telemedicine’ has been around for a long time, however, it has not been implemented in such a successful way before. Having the ability to instantly chat with a doctor you would usually have to travel hours to see is of huge benefit to these rural communities.
The benefits of telemedicine are huge, not only connecting isolated people with professional help, but also diminishing state line boundaries in the fight against illness. The system has been thoroughly implemented in North Dakota, with almost 30 facilities connected to a network of doctors helping thousands of patients every year. However, it’s not just the patients who benefit.
Access to more qualified doctors’ help the rural doctors confidently complete minor procedures which they otherwise would not have the ability to complete. Many local doctors would recommend visiting a specialist for small procedures such as the insertion of a tube to help blood flow. However, with access to a live webcam feed and a qualified doctor on the other end offering guidance and demonstration, local doctors can complete these minor adjustments themselves. This can help save lives in an emergency situation and reduce stress in patients who don’t like to travel long distances.
It also benefits the local doctor’s office if there is an accident involving multiple patients. A road collision involving several people can overwhelm a small doctor’s office in an instant, however, by using a webcam link nurses can tend to other patients while the doctor looks after the most seriously injured first.
This is just another example of how webcams have changed our lives for the better. With new ideas involving webcams constantly coming to the fore, it is no surprise they have been hailed as lifesaving technology.