It is not unusual for people unfamiliar with the medical kiosk concept to ask us what kiosks actually do. The short answer is that they facilitate some sort of remote interaction between healthcare provider and patient. A longer answer goes into the practical details of using a medical kiosk. And that is all about end users.
No doubt we design our medical kiosks for healthcare practitioners and facilities. They are the ones we sell to. But they use our products to interact with patients. The patients are the ones who actually sit down to use a kiosk and its equipment. As such, we are compelled to design our kiosks around end users.
So what does a medical kiosk do? Perhaps a better question is this: what can a medical kiosk do?
Handle Administrative Tasks
We recently published a post discussing all the basics of medical kiosks. We discussed the fact that kiosks basically come in one of three forms, beginning with the administrative kiosk. An administrative kiosk does exactly what its name implies: it performs administrative tasks.
At the height of the COVID pandemic, these types of kiosks were seen all over the place. In a primary care office, a patient might walk in and go straight to the kiosk to sign in. COVID protocols prefer kiosks over live receptionists interacting with patients.
Administrative kiosks collect data. They allow patients to check their accounts, pay their bills, modify insurance information, and even set future appointments. Everything is done using a tablet computer. There is no need to interact with a human receptionist.
Facilitate Video Conferencing
Prior to the COVID pandemic, most of us thought of telemedicine as nothing more than chatting with a doctor over video. Telemedicine is so much more than that now. Still, video conferencing with the doctor is an important function. A good medical kiosk is equipped with two-way video and audio especially for this purpose.
Two-way audio and video make it possible for clinician and patient to meet from separate locations. When their appointment only requires a frank discussion anyway, it seems pointless for a patient to drive into the office and sit in a waiting room for an extended amount of time. Chatting via video conferencing accomplishes the same thing in a much more efficient way.
Facilitate Clinical Diagnostics
Administrative functions and video conferencing are both desirable functions for medical kiosks. But these days, the real magic in what we do is facilitating clinical diagnostics. What does that mean? When you visit your primary care physician, the nurse who checks you in also checks your vitals. They take your temperature, measure your blood pressure, weigh you, and checks your pulse. All the information they gather is used for diagnostic purposes.
The doctor also checks certain vitals. They may listen to your lungs and heart. They may look into your eyes and ears. The goal is to learn as much as possible about the current state of your health. This aids the doctor in diagnosing whatever problem you might be struggling with.
The modern medical kiosk should be equipped with common diagnostic tools. Ours are. Furthermore, all the diagnostic information collected by one of our kiosks is sent to the medical provider in real time. This allows the doctor or advanced practice nurse to know exactly what is going on, as though the patient were in the office.
The long and short of it is that a medical kiosk takes the place of an in-person visit by offering administrative function, video conferencing, and diagnostic capabilities. That is the way it should be.