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Asynchronous video key telehealth medium for patients and physicians

Nick Adkins is known in health IT circles for many things, but especially for asynchronous video telehealth applications.

Adkins is a co-founder of ReelDx Inc., a telehealth company that specializes in asynchronous video, where he was COO from December 2013 to April 2016.

He is also a colorful, charismatic, self-described digital health evangelist who travels the telemedicine and health IT conference circuits in his trademark kilt and porkpie hat.

In this video, the third in a three-part series featuring Adkins recorded at the 2016 American Telemedicine Association's Annual Conference and Trade Show, Adkins talks about asynchronous video and its advantages over live synchronous video.

In the first and second videos, Adkins talks about his personal style and the growth of telehealth.

"Synchronous is real-time. It's FaceTime or Skype," Adkins explains in the video above. "Asynchronous is recorded. I can watch it myself. I can send it someone else. It's like Snapchat."

For Adkins, the signature application for asynchronous video is hospital discharge instructions, which patients can watch at their convenience.

Similarly, asynchronous video allows physicians to watch videos of patients talking about their condition wherever the clinicians are and at the best times for them.

Adkins notes that key benefits of asynchronous video are its privacy features and interoperability, or ease in sharing the video.

"I believe asynchronous telemedicine is the way we're going to scale telehealth," he adds.

Meanwhile, synchronous video has proved popular in telehealth and is an integral part of big telehealth provider systems such as American Well and Teladoc Inc.

Many real-time telehealth video applications use videoconferencing technology from such vendors as Vidyo and Zoom.

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Transcript - Asynchronous video key telehealth medium for patients and physicians

Nick Adkins: Synchronous is real time. That's that live feed, that's Facetime, your Skype, it's happening right now. Asynchronous is record it or shoot it, store it, and then forward it to somebody later, okay? And that forward can be - I can watch it myself, I can send it to someone else. Think like Snapchat, right, except for video; we can send it to people but only the people that you say can see it are the ones who get to see it. 

Easy use case of when to use asynchronous or store and forward video is discharge instruction. Discharge is the time where you're ready to get out of the hospital and you don't remember what the doctors and nurses were trying to tell you in that treatment plan path. That's a perfect time to say, "Hey look, we're going to record this piece of us telling you what your treatment plan is, things that we want you to do for the next four weeks, how we want you to take your medication. You can review with your family, other people in your care team that are going to help take care of you." That's asynchronous. You know, I believe that asynchronous telemedicine is the way we're going to scale telehealth. 

Right, because you're having a conversation with your doctor, you don't want everyone to see that you don't want it loaded to Youtube or Vimeo, you want it to be shared securely between people that you the patient identifies can see it. So that's asynchronous.

Now if you're a busy doctor, you've only got so much throughput you can do in a day, right? We can't create more time. I'm only going to be able to see x number of patients in a day. Well, what if I was able to say, "What if you could see a bunch of those on your phone just as fast as you can tweet? What if you could be watching little videos of patients and responding and making decisions and doing things to help them and get reimbursed for those," right? So now when you are sitting in the line at Starbucks or you're watching your kids play soccer, what if you created more throughput with that time? That's what asynchronous telemedicine will allow you to do, and that's just the human touch of it.

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