Expectant mothers have been using ‘virtual clinics’ where they can speak to their midwife via a secure video link.
The Attendanywhere service has proved popular with both parties with women ‘queuing’ in a virtual waiting room before their appointment.
The initiative is initially being trialled with diabetic women who are one of the ‘at risk’ groups that maternity bosses are keen to avoid coming into hospital unless absolutely necessary.
Sharon McCarthy, Diabetes Nurse Consultant at Northwick Park Hospital said: “Patients prefer it to a phone call. We can visually see mums and, if need be, guide them through taking their own blood pressure, monitoring blood sugar levels, giving themselves insulin injections and using various pieces of kit they have at home. At present, we have up to ten mums using the virtual clinic a day."
Zoe Hyman, who is expecting her third child, said: “It’s been a great substitute to a physical face-to-face and just being able to see Sharon has is a great reassurance. I take my own blood sugar levels and send them to her before our meeting so she knows what is happening before we meet.”
Attend Anywhere is now being used by more than 40 hospital specialisms and its advantage over more commonly known video applications, such as FaceTime and Skype is the waiting room. The positive feedback suggests it will now be an integral part of patient interaction moving forward.