Why does video matter in medicine?

There is a good amount of discussion occurring in the blogosphere about video in medicine. Obviously, we at ReelDx have a bias about this issue – we’re all for video. In fact, we’re enabling the use of video in the most intimate settings – the discussion between doctor and patient.

Here are three important reasons we think video is important in medicine:

  • It is a clear record of what was said. Patient education products are great and much needed. But the clearest communication happens when the doctor and the patient are discussing the diagnosis and treatment. Capturing that moment is clearly valuable – the patient can review later, the doctor can review later, the patient can share with their caregiver network, etc.
  • The act of capturing the patient-doctor dialog on video validates the patient even more, and gives them an opportunity to be clear on record about what they’re experiencing and how it feels. We have become used to the action of photographing or videoing an event – smartphones have made photographers and videographers out of all of us. We have developed a vernacular about what it means to capture something on a smartphone, and bringing that vernacular into the exam room is not only natural, it is valuable.
  • Doctors demonstrate their best side when the conversation is on video. No physician wants to come off as dismissive or arrogant or unfeeling. Using video in this setting helps remind the professional about the best possible behavior. Physician and patient both benefit.

These are not new ideas. A great blog post at thehealthcareblog.com that appeared a couple of weeks ago addresses the patient-driven desire to bring recording technology into the exam room.

This is happening, and it will be happening more and more. And it’s a good thing.


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