For a company like IbisVision, where our product is developed with the input and intelligence of partners and the market, meeting up with the companies who’ll use our platform is one of the most important tasks we can do. This is really vital in the US, which has the most cutting-edge health sector in the world, but also differs somewhat from the public model found across Europe, so we’re learning all the time.
The highlight in this case was making an appearance at the weekend at Vision Expo in New York where some of the biggest names in optometry were in attendance. We showcased our tele-optometry solution IBIS-Connect to numerous professionals and stopped by for a visit to the likes of Essilor and Clear Vision to speak further about what we’re doing for the market. The connections we’re making and conversations we’re having will definitely change the future of IbisVision.
From the past few days, we’ve been lucky enough to have gained some amazing feedback and observations. IbisVision is definitely at the forefront of the telemedicine evolution in optometry and over the next few days we’ve got some more exciting things coming up. We have important connections to be made in New York and we’ll be meeting with venture capitalists and remote healthcare networks to talk more about IBIS-Connect.
Our usual gripe though – our team hasn’t had much time to stop off at any of the iconic tourist attractions so we’ve added the Empire State building and Statue of Liberty to Disneyland on our “missed” list! But you never know…we might indulge ourselves just once before we fly home!
Health kiosks are an amazing advancement in medical technology that’s helping to make healthcare more accessible. This IBIS-Focus article is going to look at what health kiosks are, why there’s such a drive for them in India, and what the outlook is for the future.
What is a health kiosk?
First, let’s look at health kiosks in general. A health kiosk is an electronic machine that helps the public access health screenings quickly and easily. Some are often used by hospitals and UK GP practices as simple check-in systems but there are others out there that are much more advanced and can give real-time diagnostics about an individual’s health such as weight and blood pressure. Each company developing kiosks have put their own spin on things, but in the end it’s all about making health screenings more accessible and a great experience for the user.
Locations of kiosks are also dependant on the business and their model. For example, our partner in India, Pulse Active Stations, locate their kiosks in high footfall areas such as metro stations so they can be easily accessed when people are out and about travelling to and from work. Another popular location is supermarkets, and businesses like Higi are doing this in the US. Additionally, we also have self-serve kiosks that act as check-in systems and are located in hospital and medical environments. It can definitely be agreed that kiosks are an emerging technology that have various features, functions and are also extremely flexible. This is why they are becoming more and more popular, especially as the world moves to a more technology focused way of interacting.
Health kiosks and their place in India
The pandemic has led to major shifts in the way that people access healthcare. One of the countries that has been at the forefront of embracing different telemedicine solutions, is India. In September, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced that the Government of India’s national teleconsultation service, completed over 1.2 crore (12 million) OPD consultations (businessworld.in). This allowed the government to tackle doctor and specialist shortages, especially in remote locations. There has also been a massive uptake from clinicians adopting the use of technological solutions. Doctors who used technology before the pandemic sat at 5%, that figure is now 70-80% (theweek.in). This is an incredible jump, and it speaks to how much the healthcare industry has progressed. As the rise in the use of new technology has taken hold, new ways of screening for health conditions have also been thought about and introduced.
This is where health kiosks (also often described as medical kiosks) come in. Digitisation has helped processes in many ways and allows for the easing of pressure in hospitals and can reduce the number of patients needing to be seen. Having been implemented in public spaces and workplaces in India, kiosks are becoming one of the first points of contact for the general public looking for a health screening. This is vital in the early diagnosis of any health concerns and with most kiosks being interactive, they will analyse the information taken from the patient and will give suggestions for the daily care of the patient. This then allows the patient to make informed decisions about their health and can see a medical professional if they need to.
Kiosks are also an ideal way of offering a screening option to those in remote locations. And this is not just restricted to general medical care, they are also being used for other types of healthcare too. And this is what our partner, Pulse Active Stations, are using their kiosks for. These kiosks aid in early detection of conditions which are related to general health but with the help of IbisVision, this now also includes eye health. In India, 30 million people are blind due to cataracts and 1.2 million people have lost their vision from glaucoma-related complications. This is why kiosk solutions branching out into different aspects of health care is so important. Early detection in any health condition is key, and it’s vital that even in those in the most rural areas get access to this kind of support.
The outlook for the future
As we look to the future, the outlook for kiosks appears to be positive. They are being implemented well in the healthcare industry but that’s not the only place we see them. We now see them implemented in car parks, food outlets and retail stores so it seems that the uptake isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. And this is good for the healthcare industry as it gives plenty more options and flexibility as they decide how exactly to implement them into their organisations.
IbisVision has a keen interest in health kiosk technology, and our aim in helping to make eye care more accessible has become a reality in our partnership with Pulse Active Stations. To find out more about our work on health kiosks, read more here or feel free to get in touch with us here.
We are delighted to be working with NHS Forth Valley to develop new technology which enables healthcare staff to carry out remote eye tests on people at home or in schools.
IbisVision was one of two companies chosen to work on this project to develop remote eye tests so that vision problems can be more easily detected, monitored and managed. Since the beginning of 2020, there have been changing needs in accessing healthcare and a lot of this has come from the effects of Covid-19. The onset of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns brought the need for eye care to be managed differently into focus. These new methods are hoped to allow for less people requiring in-person appointments in optician practices and hospitals.
New methods of eye testing aim to help manage eye conditions in the community while offering a personable service even though the testing is remote. IbisVision as well as other technology providers in the market, have created technology that allows this to happen and means that anyone can have their concerns addressed whether they are in the practice or not.
Virtual technology is an important step for the optical industry and IbisVision was chosen as part of this project to continue our work to make eye care accessible for all. Our telemedicine solution, IBIS-Connect, enables clinicians to seamlessly connect with their patients wherever they are whether that be at home or in a community facility. Our interactive platform means that patients can receive specialist medical advice via an online face-to-face consultation that might otherwise require an in-person appointment in hospital.
Telemedicine is a key component in the modernisation of health provision, and it enables initial assessment, triage and referral decisions to be made by a specialist clinician over video connection. A unique feature that IBIS-Connect brings to the table is our eye examination suite that can accurately determine the position of a patient and it allows for tests to be carried out no matter where the patient is; all they need is access to a computer or laptop and an internet connection.
IBIS-Connect has a unique offering and being part of this project has allowed us to further develop our platform, allowing us to continue to make eye care more accessible. This accessibility benefits those who require medical and optical advice while avoiding unnecessary hospital visits. We look forward to continuing our work that will aid in reducing pressure on clinicians as well as offering a convenient alternative for patients.
IbisVision provides innovative vision testing software to the optical industry. We combine multiple eye tests on a single platform that’s easily accessed online connecting optometrists with their patients. Find out more, here.
A wide adoption of digital tools is allowing the optometry industry to progress and better face the challenges that have presented themselves over the past year. Not only this, but technology is helping to improve patient care while reducing costs for the industry too.
In the past year, tele-health adoption has spiked at unprecedented rates across the world, with some providers reporting 175 times the number of consultations via tele-health compared to pre-pandemic visits in the US (medcitynews.com). This, however, did not mean that every organisation was prepared with the technology to offer or manage this uptake in virtual services. Initially, clinicians adopted solutions that were ready-made such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams but technology suppliers have stepped up and have been developing solutions that are tailored to specific industries and their offerings. From no-contact solutions to health kiosks, technology is playing a major part in allowing health and eye care professionals to navigate the effects of the pandemic.
How can technology benefit the optical industry now and in the future?
Technology is allowing us to provide solutions for current challenges that have come from Covid-19. However, we can use these technology solutions to improve the way in which we operate for the future and provide more essential services to patients.
The advantages of implementing technology are endless, but one of the shining benefits is that technology is encouraging people to look after their health and wellbeing no matter their circumstances. For example, health kiosks mean that people can self-serve which is allowing those who are still worried about visiting doctors or hospitals access to health screenings before it’s absolutely necessary for them to visit a practice in person. In the long term, these types of self-service kiosks will suit those with busy lifestyles and it’s also more convenient for many to assess themselves quickly before booking an appointment with a doctor or other health professional.
Remote technology is also beneficial for industry professionals as well as patients. Tele-optometry is helping to keep to social distancing guidelines for optometrists and patients and this is vital in allowing essential services and care to continue safely. It’s also going to be beneficial for the future too. This type of service will help to fit into people’s lives who are still working from home or have busy working schedules. It’ll also help to reach those who live in more remote locations and struggle to physically access these types of services on a regular basis. Technology is increasing access to vital services and development of software has been accelerated in the past year. This acceleration has allowed certain services to remain open for patients and will now be a key way in which health professionals and patients interact going forward.
IbisVision provides innovative software to the optical industry which includes tele-optometry features as well as a no-contact solution for in-practice. To find out more, get in touch with us, here.