In this Telehealth Feature Series, we’re going to cover the long list of potential telehealth features available today. As you’re considering your own approach to telehealth, we will provide you a look at all the possible features telehealth companies are offering on the market. Plus, we’ll offer our insight into the nuances of each feature so you can select the right telehealth company or companies you use. Not all telehealth is created equal, so taking the time to understand all the possible features and options is worth the effort.
The next feature we’re going to cover is Image Sharing, File Transfer, Screen Image Capture, and Screen Sharing.
While this isn’t the perfect grouping, this highlights some of the interesting add on features that many telehealth vendors offer to make the telehealth experience more than just a video call. This list is also an illustration of why telehealth needs to be more than Facetime with your doctor. Let’s dive into each.
Image Sharing and File Transfer
We’ll group these two into one since in many ways this is the same thing. An image is just a specific type of file that can be transferred to the doctor. There are a lot of use cases for this, but the most common is a patient uploading a high quality picture of whatever issue they have (wound, rash, etc). The beauty of sharing the image is that the image is generally higher quality than video is going to be. With wounds and many rashes, the higher quality is needed for a doctor to make an appropriate diagnosis.
When it comes to file transfer, you could see patients scanning and uploading their diet journals or even other pieces of their medical record that they want to share with the doctor on the visit. While this can often be an image, it can also be a PDF of information the patient wants to share with the doctor. The challenge with this feature is that it can be technically hard for some people to use. No doubt this feature will get abandoned quickly by a doctor if the patient isn’t tech savvy.
Screen Image Capture
Screen image capture is a feature I’ve seen on a few telehealth providers that is really interesting. This is most often used to capture a picture or something the patient is showing them on camera for the doctor’s records. Of course, every device comes built in with screen capture these days. That technically means that every telehealth vendor has this feature. The problem is that an integrated screen image capture is a much better user experience for the telehealth user and can do a better job maintaining patient privacy. We all know what a mess it is to do a screenshot of your computer, then you might need to crop the image, and then you save it to your device. Then, you have to go and find that image to attach it to the patient in your telehealth or EHR software. While this is doable, it takes some work and technical skill. Plus, it depends on the end user to manage deleting all the screenshots that were saved to the desktop in an insecure and untracked manner.
This might be the most underrated features in telehealth. The good news is that everyone seems to be getting used to this screen sharing technology when we’re doing meetings in our personal life. As we’ve used it more, we’ve gotten more comfortable with it and it’s come built in with many popular telehealth platforms like Zoom that it has become a feature that many expect from their telehealth vendor.
The most common use cases for screen sharing is sharing something from the EHR or patient education. It’s easy to imagine running an EHR report of your lab results for the last 6 months that you want to share with the patient. Plus, just like a doctor would do in the room, it’s often nice to show the patient an anatomical image for them to more easily explain to the patient what’s going on.
While we’ve found that screen sharing isn’t available on every platform, most telehealth companies are working on it if they don’t have it already available.