Historically, video technology used in healthcare was referenced as “video conferencing” much like it is used in the business world to support a meeting or conference where numerous individuals participate. This makes sense because, for all practical purposes, it was often the exact same equipment. While there are situations in healthcare where more than two individuals are participating, most of the conversations in healthcare with a patient are between two people—the patient and their provider. As some practices may only be interested in solutions that allow a two-person interaction, or in a few cases, the addition of a third or fourth party for interpreter services or to include a remote family member, the term video chat is included, as are technologies that are primarily focused on these types of communications between only a few participants.
Regardless of whether the equipment is referred to as video conferencing, video chat, or some other name, there are a few variables that will be important to be aware of for a clinician who is interested in working through a diagnostic process over video.