What are common hardware options used for telehealth?
The choice of hardware for telehealth depends on various factors, including the specific requirements of the telehealth platform or software being used, the type of telehealth services being provided, and the preferences of the healthcare provider and the patient. Here are some common hardware options used in telehealth:
- Computer/Laptop: A desktop computer or laptop is a versatile option for telehealth. It should have a reliable internet connection, a webcam, and a microphone for video and audio communication during telehealth sessions. A larger screen size can enhance the visual experience.
- Smartphone/Tablet: Smartphones and tablets are convenient options for telehealth, offering mobility and flexibility. They usually have built-in webcams and microphones, making them suitable for video calls. Many telehealth platforms have dedicated mobile apps that can be easily accessed on these devices.
- Webcams: A good-quality webcam is essential for clear video communication during telehealth sessions. If your computer or laptop does not have a built-in webcam or if you require higher video quality, consider purchasing an external webcam that offers HD resolution and good low-light performance.
- Microphone/Headset: Clear audio is crucial for effective telehealth sessions. While most computers and laptops have built-in microphones, using an external microphone or a headset can improve sound quality and reduce background noise. USB headsets or Bluetooth headphones with built-in microphones are popular options.
- Speakers: To ensure proper audio output during telehealth sessions, consider using external speakers or high-quality headphones. This can enhance sound clarity and make it easier to hear and understand the other person during the session.
- Internet Connection: A stable and reliable internet connection is essential for seamless telehealth sessions. High-speed broadband or Wi-Fi is recommended to avoid disruptions or lag during video calls. Consider using a wired connection for even better stability.
- Additional Peripherals: Depending on the specific needs of the telehealth service, additional hardware may be required. For example, certain specialties may require medical devices like digital stethoscopes, otoscopes, or handheld examination cameras for remote diagnostic purposes. These specialised peripherals should be compatible with the telehealth platform being used.
When selecting hardware for telehealth, it is important to consider factors such as ease of use, compatibility with the chosen telehealth software, the specific requirements of the healthcare provider and the patients, and any applicable security and privacy considerations. Consulting with the telehealth platform provider or IT support staff can provide additional guidance on the recommended hardware for their specific platform.
Leanne Hopkins is an Occupational Therapist at Succeed Healthcare Solutions and is passionate about creating a world where families thrive. If you or someone you know is interested in undertaking therapy via telehealth with a team trained and experienced in telehealth for several years, please contact us and arrange a free 15-minute Discovery Interview to see how we can assist.