Video conferencing


Interacting using voice and live moving image across two or more locations. This can take place over ISDN digital phone lines, network IP (the way in which data is transmitted across the internet via a computer) or by using a suitable mobile phone. The Wikipedia definition is found here.


  • Educational opportunities for those managing long term conditions to take part in more experiential, interactive learning from peers or experts
  • For use in remote scenarios, promoting access for those who find it difficult to travel
  • Improving ease of access to specialist expertise – breaking down barriers around travel and time
  • Routine consultations as described in this NHS Wales document which provides guidelines to those considering video consultations
  • Enables sign language communication to take place at distance
  • Psychiatric consultations can be conducted effectively - situations when no physical examinations are required
  • Improved information sharing and enabling participation from staff and interested parties in shaping of services such as discussed in this Pennsylvanian example document 

Benefits and advantages

  • More engaging than phone or email as provides visual information as well as being a truly two-way interaction.
  • Helps to avoid long distance travel to specialist units or for patients living in remote areas
  • Potential cost savings in terms of travel and time

Risks and disadvantages

  • Currently not commonly done in the UK - could seem intimidating at first in terms of technology and in being viewed
  • Different skills are required and must be acquired, including the documentation and data protection associated with such media






Armchair Involvement Guide 2009 

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