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Considerations for Choosing Technology

After conducting a self-assessment and identifying the types of client services and interactions you want your practice to offer, your next big challenge is choosing the appropriate technology. There is no one-size-fits-all option, but there are choices that will work for you.

Telehealth technologies, including but not limited to communication platforms, AI-assisted diagnostic services, and wearable remote monitoring devices, are numerous and ever changing; new features may be added quickly and new products are created frequently. Consequently, this section will not discuss specific vendors but rather offer recommendations for how to evaluate them and determine which one might be right for you.

Review your assessment for what human and technology resources you currently have available, to help you determine what you can manage short term and where you’d like to be long term. You must also understand who is going to be using your technology and how you hope it will fit into your normal practice workflow.

Some clients and veterinarians prefer live telemedicine evaluations because they feel more like an in-person visit.

 

A Few Fundamental Choices

What do you want now and in a year?

  • Finding technology that offers the essentials for immediate use, but also includes more advanced tools you can grow into, is a great way to start. As with any new technology, the platforms are constantly adapting and new features are added on a regular basis, so check with the providers to understand what their upgrade deployment plans are to evaluate if they meet your practice’s needs and goals.
  • Your telehealth team can be a single doctor or include every member of your staff. Starting small is recommended. If you need more than one team member contributing to your telehealth services, ensure any technology you are considering allows multiple log-ins and roles.

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc., CareCredit, and Merck Animal Health have supported the development of the 2021 AAHA/AVMA Telehealth Guidelines for Small-Animal Practice and resources through an educational grant to AAHA.