Getting set up with the appropriate gear for telehealth appointments is easy—you probably already have most of what you need! There's no requirement for fancy, expensive cameras and microphones (unless you want to have those things, of course)!
So, what do I need?
Realistically, all you need is a computer (or tablet or mobile phone). Almost every computer, tablet, or phone comes with a built-in camera and microphone—and as long as your patients can see you and hear you, you're in a great spot for telehealth appointments!
Of course, if you have other equipment (or want to acquire some), that's totally fine. If you're just starting out, though, your internet-equipped device of choice (and a working, up-to-date browser) should be just fine.
There are a few tips of the trade that you might find useful, however. Some of these include:
- Have a simple, blank (or almost blank) background. Having too many things behind you can be distracting, and it might take the your patients' focus off you during their consultation. If you don't have a blank white wall, don't worry—any plain wall will do. You could even hang up a sheet behind you. That would serve the same function!
- Make sure you have good lighting. There's nothing worse than a grainy, dark image when you're trying to talk to someone! Be sure that the room or area where you choose to conduct telehealth consultations has a good source of light, whether that be from a window, a strong internal lamp or overhead light, or both!
- Reduce background noise. People talking? Music playing? Dogs barking, babies crying, that ancient fax machine working round-the-clock…well, you understand. Extra noise is a tad distracting! You don't need to have a soundproof room, but it's definitely a plus if you can consult from a quiet place. (And noise-cancelling headphones are great, but remember that your patients will still be able to hear all that background noise around you—even if it's dulled for you.)
- Be near a power source. If you're working on a desktop computer, you'll already be plugged in! But if you're on a laptop or something else that doesn't need to be plugged in to work, it would be good to make sure you're near a power source—whether it be an outlet or a portable battery. Having your computer die during a call wouldn't be great!
- Have a stable internet connection. Being online is the core of telehealth, so having a stable connection is super important. Telehealth appointments will work with mobile data, too—so if for some reason your regular wifi is acting up, you can use 4G or 3G on your phone to connect!
If you're looking for more recommendations, we suggest having a look at what Karen Finnin, remote physiotherapist and owner of the Online Physio, has to say about telehealth. Head here to check out her interview with Cliniko's founder, Joel, and have a read-through of her tips for getting started with telehealth!
What do my patients need?
Similar to the essentials that you need, your patients will need to have a stable internet connection and a device that supports video and audio. However, they don't need anything super fancy—their computer (or mobile devices) will do just fine. To access their telehealth appointment with you, they'll simply need to click a link in their appointment confirmation email or reminder, and that will open up their video session with you!
If you have any questions on the equipment you'll need for your telehealth appointments, our support team can help out! 💬