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For example, in some areas, fine dirt or dust blowing in from the outside can ruin equipment and cause problems for patients (e.g., in a tele-COPD clinic where patients already have respiratory problems). Heat control is another issue as telemedicine rooms often have lots of electronic equipment that may generate significant amounts of extra heat.Ill and stressed patients may react poorly if placed in a small hot room for even short amounts of time.Even real-time (RT) services are becoming increasingly portable using tablet and Smart Phone devices and roaming robots.Portable devices are extremely useful for example with elderly and disabled patients as it alleviates the burden and time of having to walk from one area of the hospital to another.Therefore, design is often a challenge but there are a few basic principles that can be followed to create a workable clinical space.This paper will review some of the basic human factors principles to take into account when designing a working telemedicine environment.
All the required equipment should be organized and within easy reaching distance for those preparing and conducting the teleconsultations.
The physical location of the room is important—a room stationed near the out-patient check-in wing of a hospital or clinic will likely have a wide variety of cases referred to telemedicine simply by proximity and familiarity; but if situated in the pediatric wing, it will attract such cases, and if situated in a general practice it may suffer because of the difficulty in sending patients to a dedicated wing.
An easy solution is to have a dedicated telemedicine room with portable equipment that is easy to deploy and transport to the patient.
An early consideration is the cohort of patients that are likely to be seen or what types of consultations are going to take place [12,13,14].
For example, a clinic that is dedicated to geriatric patients needs to account for their vision, hearing and mobility challenges in the room design ; while a clinic dedicated to pediatrics needs to perhaps include toys or books to entertain them while they are waiting for the consultation to begin; and a telesurgery clinic needs to position cameras and other equipment around the wide array of existing surgical equipment and tools .