Actually using the technology required for virtual medicine, such as obtaining and sending photos, can be difficult for some patients. “Image quality can vary and may require a repeat photo or even a visit if resolution is inadequate,” Dr. Keefe said. “However, today’s smartphone cameras are usually more than sufficient.”
Additional drawbacks include the fact that it can take several hours to get a photo into a patient record for review, and the need for coordination of the physician, patient, and a technological device for live video consultation.
For medical centers, purchasing telemedicine equipment is an expense. “But usually for a limited investment cost and minimal training, you can obtain excellent images,” Dr. Keefe said. Multiple camera adapters allow for the attachment of smartphones to be flexible and rigid endoscopes to examine most head and neck pathology.