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April 9, 2015

Learn and Share With Video Conferencing

BP Tech names the top three industries that have benefitted the most from video conferencing in recent years: business, medical and education sectors.

Education

Videoconferencing has made it possible to improve on the long-distance teaching model. Plenty of schools and college communities enjoyed success with the model.  Inside Higher Ed also put a spotlight on the project on its piece on the joint pilot program of Yale, Cornell University and Columbia University. It was a two-year project, made possible with a $1.2-million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The aim of the project was to give students and teachers easier access to each other. In the process, the schools found a way to retain and sustain classes that were not financially feasible, with so few students. When not enough students enroll in a class, that class gets cut. This could lead to whole departments shutting down. When the 2011 federal cutbacks essentially left foreign language programs in the country floundering, universities found a way to make the situation work by collaborating through video. This gave rise to remote campuses. Teachers could be in classroom while the students were in another, thousands of miles away. Aside from bridging the gap, video conferencing systems like Blue Jeans offered collaborative environments for the students and teachers. Blue Jeans video conferencing, for instance, made it possible for students to work with their offsite partners, do skits, solve math problems and more. Video conferencing also brought interactive learning experiences front and center in classrooms with virtual field trips. From seeing the inside of a volcano to counting fish and fins under the sea, students had access to sights they never would have with traditional field trips. In addition, the technology is now finding its way to towns where access to education is tough. With video conferencing, teachers and educators could get in touch with students in hard to reach communities, opening life-changing opportunities for change and growth in the region.

Medical

BT Let’s Talk’s article talked about the many advantages of video conferencing technology in the healthcare sector. In one particular case, a group of hospitals, equipped with the technology, were now able to provide patients with diagnoses and consultations via a secure broadband connection. The quality of the video was the selling point. Rapid face-to-face assessments are vital to giving out the right diagnoses. Finding it accurate, consultants who simply couldn’t get to their patients, whether due to time or scheduling conflicts, could now provide much needed diagnoses with face-to-face contact through video conferencing. At the Greater Midlands Cancer Network, video conferencing allowed specialists, consultants and clinical staff to share diagnoses, ask each other questions and basically brainstorm their way through patient files without having to leave their hospitals, clinics or home offices. They were able to share scans, medical images to files, cases and proposed treatment methodologies. The reduced travel time, in turn, cleared up more hours for patient care. Because of the rapid response time, video conferencing isn’t just saving the health-care sector time and money—though it is doing that in spades — it’s also becoming essential in the way it affects how soon the right treatment is administered or how swift medical attention isprovided, impacting the quality of life for many patients.

Business

Video conferencing for business has led to changing trends in the workplace, foremost of which are flexible working practices. With remote work now possible, more and more companies are seeing the last of traditional, nine to five setups.According to The Future of Business Collaboration blog, 70 percent in the workforce would choose video conference over the thought of traveling to a meeting. Fifty-six percent of global CFOs would invest in video conferencing systems to cut back on travel. Seventy-five percent of senior management, too, believes that video conferencing will take over conference calls in the near future.Other advantages to video include space saved as companies allow their teams to work remote or in some instances, to hire freelancers who work in their own home office. This saves the company the expense of outfitting cubicles, providing workstations, not to mention the costs of added utilities and bills. Collaborative team environments, encouraged by video conferencing features (video sharing, content sharing, screen sharing) has improved the working dynamics between offsite/remote teams and management. Less travel also meant greater work-life balance for employees. As more employees look for telecommuting opportunities, many companies are adapting work-from-home policies to ensure and improve employee motivation and retention. HR teams, too, are resorting to video for their interviews and hiring decisions. With 66 percent of candidates choosing video for the interview process, record and replay are becoming two of the most convenient and useful features that video conferencing services offer to HR teams the world over.


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