Republic of Ireland news

Zoom healthcare consultations here to stay, tech specialist predicts

David Young, PA

Remote patient consultations using video conferencing technology are set to endure as a key feature of healthcare provision in a post-pandemic world, a medical supply company has predicted.

Virtual appointments that were embraced out of necessity during the Covid-19 crisis are here to stay and likely to be commonplace in all hospitals going forward, Hospital Services Limited (HSL) said.

The prediction came as HSL became the first healthcare equipment provider in the UK and Ireland to enter a formal partnership with Zoom.

HSL, which specialises in telehealth technology, is working with Zoom to offer healthcare facilities virtual care services for clinicians and patients.

HSL director of telehealth Sam McMaster (HSL/PA)

It also envisages Zoom being a key tool for administration and medical education activities.

The company, which has bases in Dublin, Belfast and Nottingham and works extensively in the Irish healthcare sector, believes the use of a well-known platform such as Zoom will make it easier for patients to access services remotely, as many are already familiar with the app and how it works.

Sam McMaster, director of telehealth for HSL, said: “The option to leverage the Zoom services as part of telehealth applications and virtual healthcare platforms offered by HSL brings a new and dynamic dimension to the market for these services.

“Zoom is the app of choice for many people and has been used extensively in medical education for many years.

“Our ability to provide Zoom as a service for our customers in health and to integrate this with the clinical workflows that drive the health service to deliver secure, private, safe virtual consultations will help our customers to transform the health service.”

HSL chief executive Dominic Walsh said: “The addition of this service to our growing portfolio of telehealth-enabled practices and solutions empowers our customers to deliver integrated virtual health platforms as part of their Covid management plans and in a way that they will remain as part of the health service beyond this pandemic.”

Ron Emerson, global healthcare lead at Zoom Video Communications, said: “We are excited by the prospect of working with Hospital Services Limited to create more uses for Zoom in healthcare in the UK and Ireland in ways that will exploit the fantastic capabilities, current and future, that Zoom provides.

“I know and have worked with the HSL telehealth team for many years and understand the specialist skills and experience they provide that can help healthcare providers to embrace and use Zoom to deliver benefit to clinicians and patients alike.”

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