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Video Helps Gov’t Agencies Work Smarter

December 13, 2013

Cutting-edge video technology can help government in Georgia work smarter and save money, according to some of the industry’s top experts. And some state agencies are already using the technology as a collaborative tool to improve services, like the Georgia Department of Public Health’s (DPH) growing telehealth network.

Suleima Salgado (at left), DPH telehealth director, moderated a panel discussion on how video technology can improve government.

On Tuesday, video technology experts convened at the Georgia Technology Authority in Atlanta for a panel discussion on the optimal use of video technology in government, sponsored by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG). The panelists said video systems are increasing in quality and user-friendliness, and more companies are using them to interact in real time, cutting down on the cost and time of travel.

“We’re pushing a lot of traffic onto the video domain that used to be traffic at [Atlanta’s] Hartsfield-Jackson airport,” said panelist Scott Walker, president and chief executive officer of Waveguide Consulting, an Atlanta-based technology consulting firm.

Government agencies, not just corporations, can also benefit from this technology. The panelists also described how government can use high-quality, secure video networks to provide more services to more constituents, particularly when it comes to health care.

Suleima Salgado, DPH’s director of telehealth, served as the moderator of the panel discussion. She said many Georgians may not realize that DPH is becoming a state leader in the use of video technology to make its work more efficient.

“From job interviews and language translations to disaster response, shelters, staff meetings, training, nutritional counseling and HIV care, DPH is using two-way, real-time technology in our telehealth network,” Salgado said.

Over the past two years, DPH’s telehealth network has grown closer to reaching the goal set by Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., to equip health departments in each of the 159 counties with video infrastructure. The goal is to connect Georgians with health care and support no matter where they live.

DPH is also beginning to deploy telemedicine carts to certain local health departments in need, allowing residents to connect with specialized medical care that may exist hours from where they live, such as dental care, monitoring of high-risk pregnancies, genetics counseling, asthma and allergy consults and much more. Salgado said using video technology to connect patients and providers can help DPH work smarter.

 “DPH wants a network that can bring specialized care to underserved areas of Georgia, saving time and money for patients, providers and public health staff,” she said.