Choosing the right telemedicine booth

Telemedicine booths, also known as teleconsultation or telehealth booths, are public booths in which a patient is examined remotely by a physician. They offer complete solutions that include the essential equipment of a medical practice that can be used by the patient independently. Originally these booths were developed to compensate for the absence of doctors in medical deserts. Subsequently, interest in them has increased significantly since the Covid-19 pandemic.

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  • How does a telemedicine booth work?

    Telemedicine booths are generally easily accessible and located in public places. They are enclosed, soundproofed areas equipped with a seat where the patient can sit in front of a screen to talk to a doctor. Both can see and hear each other to facilitate communication. Booths are equipped with a range of connected, easy-to-use diagnostic instruments that allow the doctor to perform the examination remotely. They also often have a printer to facilitate the exchange of documents between the patient and doctor (a checkup certificate or prescription for example).

    How does a teleconsultation take place in a booth?
    The doctor and patient communicate via video transmission. The latter follows the instructions of the healthcare professional and takes his or her own vital signs independently. In some cases, the patient may be assisted by a medical assistant, such as a pharmacist, nurse’s aide or nurse. The results obtained are transmitted via a secure interface to the doctor. The doctor can then deliver a diagnosis and perform the checkup. If necessary, he or she can also issue a prescription.

    CSI telemedicine booth

    H4D telemedicine booth

  • What other key points should you take into account when choosing a telemedicine booth?

    Several criteria should be considered when choosing a telemedicine booth, in particular its ease of access, the number of instruments it includes, how easy these instruments are to use, how easy the booth is to clean, its soundproofing and ventilation.

    • Booth access: the booth must be easily accessible and spacious enough to accommodate at least two people (in case of assistance), and potentially a wheelchair for people with reduced mobility.
    • The number of available instruments: the instruments available in the booth must be able to cover the majority of the most common examinations. Inside the booth you will generally find a blood pressure monitor, a thermometer, a stethoscope, an otoscope, a scale, a dermatoscope, an oximeter and a spirometer.
    • Ease of use of the instruments: as the instruments are used by the patient independently with the help of the remote physician, they must be as intuitive and user-friendly as possible.
    • Booth hygiene: to ensure booth hygiene, materials and instruments must be easy to clean and disinfect. Telemedicine booths typically offer a clear, uncluttered work surface with no keyboard, mouse or visible display for medical devices. Cleaning is carried out by automatic UV disinfection of the booth and by means of a sterilization box in which the medical devices are placed.
    • Soundproofing of the booth: the soundproofing of a telemedicine booth is particularly important to ensure the confidentiality of consultations.
    • Booth ventilation system: a good ventilation system is essential to ensure a healthy environment inside.
  • Where can a telemedicine booth be installed?

    Telemedicine booths are generally intended to be installed in public places, but there are also solutions adapted for healthcare structures.

    Here are the public places where a telemedicine booth can be installed:

    • City Halls
    • Pharmacies
    • Companies
    • Schools
    • Stores and supermarkets: for example, several retailers have made telemedicine booths available in their stores, with the promise of a walk-in consultation in less than 15 minutes.

    Here are some healthcare structures where a telemedicine booth can be installed:

    • Hospitals
    • Nursing homes and care services for the elderly
    • Clinics
    • Health centers and multidisciplinary health centers, etc.
  • What are the constraints when purchasing a telemedicine booth?

    We can cite four main constraints related to purchasing a telemedicine booth: size, the need for a good internet connection, price and the availability of doctors.

    • Size: telemedicine booths take up a lot of space, so it is essential to have a sufficiently large spot to install one.
    • Quality of the internet connection: the internet connection must be excellent to ensure a smooth and quality video transmission and an optimal use of the connected instruments. This can be a real problem in some rural areas where the internet connection speed is low. The choice of your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is crucial when installing a telemedicine booth.
    • Price: telemedicine booths are expensive devices that require a significant investment.
    • Availability of a network of doctors: the advantage of a telemedicine booth is linked to the rapid availability of a doctor so that the waiting time is only a few minutes. On average, the waiting time is about seven minutes compared to several dozen minutes for a traditional consultation.
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