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Video Connections Increasingly Important For Psychiatry

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When people talk about unified communications, a lot of the conversation has to do with the remote workforce. Many professionals are using the benefits of cloud and mobile UC to complete their daily tasks from home. This allows employees to conduct themselves in a relaxed manner that has been proven to improve productivity and the quality of work.

It may be the relaxing sense of being in your own home that is primarily drawing a specific section of the medical community to this technology - psychiatry. Mental health services are very important to provide for people, but in many instances they are either located too far away from doctors or have such a stigma attached to them that people are too embarrassed to seek help. While the idea of seeking psychiatric assistance over the phone or via email generally can't replace in-person interactions, video is a platform that comes close enough to be of value to the field.

"Face-to-face communication allows people to better assess social situations and form a stronger bond with those they interact with," wrote TMCnet contributor Alexandra Duggan. "When it comes to business, people will often find that face-to-face meetings are the best way to communicate effectively- with co-workers and clients. Humans are a social species that are programmed to read body language and facial expressions; reading someone's real-time reaction can be beneficial to learn how participants feel about decisions being made."


These are the kinds of interactions that counselors, therapists and psychiatrists rely on in order to do their jobs effectively. But not everyone is always able - physically or emotionally - to make it into an actual office. In these instances, mental health facilities should have unified communications in place so that they can help as many people as possible.

Telemedicine A Growing Niche For Psychiatry

As in other industries besides health care, unified communications is beginning to catch on because of the evolution it can facilitate. Telehealth, in general, is proving to be revolutionary and popular among medical professionals. TMCnet contributor Tara Seals wrote that this is a worldwide phenomenon.

"Demand for telehealth services such as video conferencing and remote patient monitoring in everywhere from Africa to rural America is escalating, as broadband networks - both wired and mobile - are better able to support those bandwidth-intensive services," Seals stated.

According to TMCnet contributor Steve Anderson, a recent study from Healthline dictates that this is why there is an increase in popularity occurring with telemedicine systems and psychiatry. Locating a specialist that someone is able to see in person can be a time-consuming and fruitless task. Video communications help to alleviate this issue, and have been found specifically to assist in treating symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.

According to Anderson, there is also an alarming scarcity of qualified professionals available in the field of psychiatry. Unified communications that include powerful video connections can help to deal with this.

"This development comes at a good time overall; there are some substantial shortages of psychiatrists in the United States, and in rural areas, this measure is particularly pronounced," Anderson wrote. "Just the veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan of late comprise around 20 percent - 119,482 out of half a million - of those in America who have a PTSD diagnosis. With one third of that 119,482 currently living in rural areas that often don't have access to psychiatry, there's a clear problem afoot."

Additionally, there can be some perceived shame associated with seeking out mental health treatment. Some people believe that they will be judged - even if just by the other people in the waiting room. By enabling videoconferencing through unified communications, individuals who might have been discouraged from attending therapy sessions will be able to speak with a counselor from the comfort of their own homes. Being in a familiar environment can help people open up and talk about their problems more candidly than in a stranger's office.

Video Conferences Are The Future Of Health Care

Medical practitioners have always found geography to be a barrier. Although some professionals want to help as many people as they can, sometimes it's just not possible. Psychiatry and mental health facilities have to deal with these kinds of issues, as well. This is why telemedicine is starting to take off across the board. While it has universal benefits for all kinds of medicine, psychiatry in particular is seeing increased benefit from adopting these systems.

"[V]ideo conferencing improves communication and reinforces positive relationships," Duggan wrote. "There are many important aspects of communication that can get lost over a basic phone call or email. Reading a client's facial expression when you say something and addressing the negative or positive feeling creates a more productive relationship."

Mental health organizations need to start investing in unified communications. This will be the best way to facilitate remote care for those that require it.