Mobile Video During a Crisis – Even When It's the Personal Kind

A few months ago, I posted a blog on the Future of Video. I spoke of how FaceTime has changed the way my family communicates across distances and that I couldn’t imagine a world without it. But the past two weeks have helped me appreciate the power of personal video more than ever.

Since I work for a video conferencing company, people may question whether I really believe in the technology, or whether I’m just doing my job. I can tell you it’s the former, and joining Radvision two years ago really turned me into the convert I am. I joined the company as its lone Colorado-based employee. So the ONLY way I could connect face-to-face with my colleagues was through video. And Scopia made that VERY easy to do.

So yes, video has changed how I worked, and as mentioned in the past, how I communicate on the home front. But last week, it took on a more important role than ever before. Why? Because a routine visit to the cardiologist turned into imminent bypass surgery for my dad – who now lives approximately 2,000 miles away. Luckily, I had 18 hours’ notice, so I was able to hop on a plane in Denver Thursday afternoon and be in the pre-op room at 6 am ET Friday morning. But the rest of the family wasn’t as lucky – for example my brother who lives in Japan. There was no chance of him arriving stateside before the surgery. But thanks to video conferencing, my brother and his wife were in the pre-op room alongside my family in Florida. The peace of mind that gave my dad and my brother is immeasurable.

We also used video to keep family updated while he was in the hospital – they could see for themselves his progress. He had no wireless the six days he was in rehab, but now that he’s home again, we are back on video.

My dad isn’t a technologist – I’ve always been the AV person in the family. But he’s really embraced using video to keep up with loved ones – especially now. When I asked him whether video calling made a difference for him as the patient, he said the psychological benefits of seeing my kids, my brother and his wife were huge. He said it helped keep his spirits up and kept him from feeling like he was cut off from the rest of the world. And then he jokingly suggested that others not wait for major heart surgery to motivate them to embrace today’s collaborative technologies.

I’m glad my dad is on the mend, and I’m glad our family could be in the same (virtual) room through all this – all thanks to video conferencing technology. And since I’m on the topic of video in healthcare, please be sure to visit the Avaya booth at HIMSS13 (booth no. 6846) if you’re in New Orleans. We’ll be showcasing a number of solutions including our latest telemedicine cart from GlobalMed.

Are you using video at home? If so, I’d love to hear stories how video has helped keep your family together when you can’t all be in the same place.

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