The first and most important component of a good telephone call is always the phone itself. Businesses generally have a PBX system or some higher quality telephones, and the richness of the audio in the conference reflects this. Purchase an inexpensive phone, and the call will reflect it.
Recently, headsets have become very popular in the business world. In prior years, only customer service and call-center agents made use of them. The last few years have seen a rise in the number of businesses that have begun outfitting their employees with headsets. We recommend any headset from Plantronics (http://www.plantronics.com). These headsets are generally more expensive, but with features such as noise cancellation and secure communications, they provide superior quality as well as comfort for the wearer. Their top of the line models even work wirelessly with any desk phone. Beware of lower priced and lower quality headsets. They can damage a conference call faster than any other factor.
Speakerphones are generally considered poor for hosting conference calls. Some of the top of the line speakerphones, such as the ones from Polycom (http://www.polycom.com) are better than most, but because of the sensitivity of the speaker and the close proximity of the microphone, they have a tendency to introduce extra noise and sometimes echo into the conference. If the phone is on a conference table, then if someone bumps the table accidentally with their knee, the sound vibrates the entire table, and by default, the speakerphone itself. The entire conference must suffer through these little clicks and bumps. This is why speakerphone use is generally discouraged for a conference.
We have all heard about different conferencing possibilities that are out there to enhance business and educational communication. However, some inquiries still arise when we are confronted with what services best fit our needs and the demands of those around us. Teleconferencing, for instance, contrary to videoconferencing which implies the use of video, is undergone only with audio support. Tele conferencing (also referred to as audio conferencing and conference calling) is carried out over regular telephone lines and can be conducted rather inexpensively.
When choosing a service, there are two main alternatives, reservationless or operator-assisted. The first comes into view as the most economical and user friendly as a telephone number and pin code are the only needed requirements to get you started. What’s more, it abolishes any possible human error consequence of operator assisted services. Greater flexibility is offered as it is permanently available and once you have adhered to the service, you only need to worry about setting a time and date with your participants to perform a meeting.
Operator assisted teleconferencing, on the other hand, is recommended for meetings with larger number participants and can avoid potential problems that come up as a
result. An operator is available to carry out certain tasks such as checking out or adding participants, splitting larger groups into smaller clusters, as well as perform a variety of other services. Organizing an operated assisted conference, however, implies calling an operator a day in advance.
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When the average citizen is asked to indicate aspects of life they are most concerned with, health will inevitably come up at the top of the list. Having access to proper health care is an issue that governments constantly battle with. New technologies are sought to respond to the needs of both practitioners and patients. Videoconferencing has, therefore, gained strength in the medical field as a mean to respond to some of the present medical challenges.
The practice of medicine using interactive video has enormous benefits, many of which are still to be exploited. Teleconferencing allows consultations and other medical services to take place without the need for doctor and patient to be in the same physical space. Health care has, therefore, become more accessible to patients living in more remote locations, who otherwise would not have the means to commute to a local hospital or health care centre. Patients are followed more closely as financial and travel constraints no longer are a concern. Patients see their hospitalization time reduced as well, as doctors can follow up on their condition through videoconferencing. Such a situation benefits health care organizations as patient expenses are reduced, as well as the actual patient who can continue treatment from the comfort of their home.
On an educational level, Video Conferencing has become an important tool which can offer medical staff ongoing training. On the other hand, videoconferencing puts doctors in contact, regardless of where they are thus granting them greater confidence in patient diagnosis as they are in easy reach of a second opinion. What’s more, doctors have easy access to patient information which can accelerate and assist patient analysis.
As the medical world exploits telemedicine for its obvious benefits, its contribution to saving lives arises as the greatest of them all.
Imagine being able to go to your local health clinic (no matter how remote your community) and being able to consult with the most experienced specialists in virtually any medical field. This is one of the opportunties that telemedicine can bring to all of us.
Telemedicine can empower local communities by improving access to quality medical care. Travel times and waiting will be reduced, and eventually advanced robotics could even provide a means for surgeons to operate via long distances. Believe it or not, these technologies are already being used.
The following is from the Orlando Sentinel:
“Telemedicine is widely used already, with doctors consulting each other from thousands of miles apart, even examining patients through video. Advances in robotics also will make it possible someday for doctors to operate on patients in remote settings.”
The future for telemedicine is bright, indeed.