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Virtualization for Healthcare - Research Paper Example

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Introduction Traditional health care is rapidly being supplemented by virtual health care, and this is a change that is welcome. Skyrocketing health care costs demand a solution, and the virtualization of certain kinds of health care can be a part of the solution…
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Virtualization for Healthcare
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Download file to see previous pages 1.0 What is Virtual Healthcare? Virtual healthcare is, in a nutshell, any kind of health care that is accomplished through a means that is not face-to-face interaction. Harrop (2001) defines virtual healthcare as “asynchronicity, outsourcing and anonymity” (Harrop, 2001, p. 244). Demiris (2005) describes a number of different, broad, categories under which health care virtualization would fall. One is that of health care delivery systems, which is where a team of professionals and caregivers are assembled, for the benefit of the patient, and participate in therapy or health care by videophone. This enables a patient, such as one who is homebound, to participate in meetings regarding the patient’s care virtually, without having to leave his home. Another of the broad groups is that of virtual research teams. Virtual research teams concern health care researchers, and this is where the health care researchers communicate and exchange information with one another through the Internet or other advanced technology. Virtual disease management is another category cited by Demiris. This is where a patient, who has a chronic illness, interacts with health care professionals in an effort for the health care professionals to intervene and communicate with their health care professional. ...
Virtual disease management also has, as one its top goals, education of the patient in self-care (Demiris, 2006, pp. 180-181). Virtual healthcare differs from traditional health care in that the patient does not necessarily meet with his or her health-care provider face to face. As indicated below, this has a number of advantages with regards to costs, yet also has a number of disadvantages when compared against traditional face-to-face healthcare. 2.0 Examples of Virtual Healthcare There are many different examples that may be used to illustrate some of the benefits and uses of virtual health care. One such is the concept of telehome care. This is where a patient accesses, from his or her home, audio and video data between the patient and the health care provider, such as a nurse. This visit is facilitated by such hands-on devices, such as stethoscopes, blood pressure readings, wounds dressing, and auscultation (Shea et al., 2008, p. 136). These different readings are performed by the patient or the care-giver with the supervision of the nurse, who appears through the patient’s audio or video set, and is also on hand to answer any questions that the patient might have about his or her care (Shea et al., 2008, p. 136). The University of Cyprus, in the Eurasian country of Cyprus, has innovated a virtual health-care system called DITIS, which is a Network for Medical Collaboration (Pitsillides et al., 2008, p. 1). DITIS was originally developed so that the difficulties in communication and continuity of care between a home health multidisciplinary team, and the team and an oncologist, could be addressed (Jossif, 2005, pp. 6-7). DITIS is a team that consists of a variety of different providers and family members, such as a social worker, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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