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Skype Successful In Home Care For Infants

February 12, 2013 | Telepresence Options


Fierce Health IT | By

The use of eHealth for home healthcare of premature infants could decrease the need for home doctor visits, a small�study�published this week in BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making has�found.

For the study, 34 families were broken up into three groups: one receiving standard home healthcare, a web group receiving home healthcare supplemented with a web app; and a video group with home healthcare supplemented by Skype. Participating families and nursing staff completed questionnaires about the information and communication technology's (ICT) usefulness.

The web application was easy to use, participants said, and Skype was useful for all surveyed, too. Nearly 90 percent said that video calls were better than regular phone calls. Meanwhile, 33 percent in the web group and 75 percent in the video group thought that home visits should be less frequent with the advent of Skype. Fifty percent in the web group and 100 percent in the video group said they felt more confident in caring for their child after using the technology.

Not everyone was enamored with the technology, however, The study's authors found that some nurses needed motivation to use the web application and video conferencing after initial reluctance, although only five total nurses participated.

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