It's easy to take for granted how seamlessly we can now communicate and interface with anyone anywhere in the world. We can watch SpaceX rockets blast into space from on-board cameras, and view live streams of astronauts working from the International Space Station. The ubiquity of smartphones and the advent of easy-to-use communication apps and services have trivialized global communication.
But have you ever wondered how videoconferencing has impacted major industries like healthcare, education, and business?
It should come as no surprise that just about everyone in these industries is taking advantage of the internet to communicate. Ongoing advancements in video- and audio conferencing technology has made it easier than ever to reach clients, customers and other stakeholders.
But how easy exactly?
We reached out to a panel of experts from different industries and asked them to share their insights by responding to this question:
“How has video and audio conferencing revolutionized major world industries?”
We’ve enlisted help from the following panel of experts to answer this question. You can use these quick links to go directly to your favorite experts, or you can get comfortable and start scrolling (since they’re all epic responses!).
Read on to find out what 16 experts in the fields of telemedicine, e-learning, and local & worldwide government relations have to say:
Tim Dickinson, Tech Fruit
Just as in business, audio/video conferencing technology has revolutionised education, with students now able to join tutorials and other discussions with professors and peers spread all over the globe.
This opens the opportunity for students to study with a broader range of people and importantly learn from institutions they might otherwise never visit.
The technology means academic expertise is no longer limited by distance or national borders, which results in the quicker dissemination of new ideas, no matter the discipline, and aids the march of progress.
The more open and more connected the world, the better it is for researchers with ideas looking for help and guidance.
About Tim Dickinson
Tim Dickinson is the editor of technology blog TechFruit, a technology enthusiast and geek. Beyond tech, he also edits the news magazine Descrier and documentary film hub Documentaries.io.
Abhishek Yadav, Techavy
Audio and video conferencing technology is one of the most underrated and revolutionizing thing to happen to mankind.
The idea that I could be sitting at home and can attend or take a conference at my office still blows my mind.
It's been doing some wonders in healthcare and saving lives and we don't even realize that this technology is as important as the doctor himself sometimes!
About Abhishek Yadav
Abhishek Yadav is a digital marketer, entrepreneur, and a sneakerhead. He runs multiple blogs in and around the technology and business niches while running his Digital Marketing company in Mumbai.
Andres Lares, Shapiro Negotiations
Video and audio conferencing has completely changed the eLearning space. Before, online training was faceless, impersonal, and clunky. Now it’s easy, smooth, and with much higher quality.
We can now put people into breakout rooms and run real live simulations for participants in our programs that are spread all over the country or world.
Not only do we have this capability, people use this type of technology enough in their day-to-day life (WhatsApp video, Skype, FaceTime) that they feel comfortable using it for eLearning, which also makes a big difference.
About Andres Lares
Andres Lares manages a boutique negotiation training firm based in Baltimore. The firm has been around for 24 years and they have trained over 250,000 people from 30+ countries, including more than 10 Fortune 100 companies. In addition to eLearning, the firm is finishing up the development of a VR/AR/AI-based negotiation simulations.
Laith Pahlawan, Orange Crew
Here is the biggest benefit that I have seen for video conferencing: Foreign speaking Americans that require help with their mental health will often use Skype to talk to their psychiatrist in their native countries.
This allows them to deal with the massive changes in their life and makes their move easier on them.
Another example of how audio and video conferencing helps is Microsoft Teams.
Implementing the software for our clients who have multiple offices has reduced the need for travel between offices because they can now talk and collaborate on documents in real time thanks to its conferencing capabilities.
About Laith Pahlawan
Laith Pahlawan is the founder/CEO of Orange Crew, an IT Services Company serving Southern California. Laith has a BSc. From UoPX in Business Administration, a Diploma from Seneca College in Electronics Engineering, MCSE, and Microsoft Small business specialist.
For the last 15 years Laith has been working on creating a stable, scalable, self-sustaining IT Service business. Orange is making it ridiculously easy to work with IT Support.
Healy Jones, Fin VS Fin
Startup companies are discovering niches where they can combine online video conferencing-driven telemedicine and prescription medication to take on the high-cost health insurance market.
Take the example of a person who wants a hair loss prescription like Finasteride. They could go through their health insurance provider, but would have a $25 to $100 deductible payment for the visit to the doctor, plus a large co-pay on the medicine itself.
Or, they can go through a direct to consumer telemedicine startup, like Hims, and pay $5 for a visit plus $20 to $30 a month for the prescription, saving themselves hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.
All of this is possible because these telemedicine startups are leveraging video conferencing technologies with licensed doctors, and would not have been possible just a few years ago.
About Healy Jones
Healy is the founder of finvsfin.com, a website that helps consumers navigate the fast growing world of direct-to-consumer telemedicine. Previously, he ran marketing for a number of venture capital-funded startup companies.
Nick Sayers, Inspo Network
A/V conferencing has allowed companies to build brands on a human connection across the globe. I build a customer success team that would jump on calls, video chats, and screen shares to onboard people and educate them.
Without this, we wouldn't have been able to teach customers about our product and connect with them in a unique way. It made us personal and added an element of humanization.
About Nick Sayers
Nick Sayers is the head of marketing at Inspo Network, a company building a lifestyle and home app that helps people connect with influencers. He has run international teams and the company Moz.
Nicholas Farmen, Spire Digital
Our company is over 50% remote, thanks to video and audio conferencing. We also have been able to work with companies all over the world without the cost of flights, etc.
Our software development company uses Ringcentral and Slack to communicate daily. We also let our workers work from home and work remote whenever they please. This decreases our operating costs.
About Nicolas Farmen
Nicholas Farmen is a marketing assistant for Spire Digital, a digital product development firm established in 1998.
Darren Cottingham, Driving Tests
Virtual classroom sessions are a huge advantage for the driver training industry.
We have clients spread over a large geographical area - many on farms in rural areas two or three hours’ drive from a training centre. Virtual classrooms and online learning have expanded our ability to deliver mandatory theory training.
Plus, audio conferencing means that we now deliver more than 70% of our course demonstrations to potential clients virtually rather than visiting them in-person.
This combination has enabled us to win clients in all corners of New Zealand and Australia, plus expand our business to over 60,000 trainees per month, while keeping our acquisition costs down.
About Darren Cottingham
Darren Cottingham founded DT Driver Training in 2010 and it is now New Zealand's largest driver training company. Recently acquired by TR Group, Australasia's largest provider of leased and rented heavy vehicles, Darren is spearheading the group's digital presence and helping transform the driver training industry.
Andrew Selepak, PhD, Andrew Selepak PHD
Without video conferencing there wouldn’t be distance education as we know it today.
It would still be possible to have online classes with recorded lectures for students to watch, and students could interact with their professor and classmates thought email and discussion boards, but video conferencing technology allows professors to teach live virtual classes, hold live office hours, and do live tutorials where students can ask questions in real-time.
Advancements in video conferencing also allow professors to not just broadcast lectures in a one-way communication, but interact with students through live chat or be able to discuss topics and concepts via webcam.
About Andrew Selepak
Andrew Selepak is a media professor in the department of telecommunication at the University of Florida. He is also the Director of the graduate program in social media.
Camille Canuto, Smart Sims
Video and audio conferencing technology help us teach and instruct students while they are in class or in remote locations.
This is especially helpful for us since majority of our students are based in North America and our main support runs in New Zealand. Through this technology, we can reach anyone without having to travel across the world and feel connected with our students (and vice versa).
Another feature of video and audio conferencing is the ability to record our sessions, so if anyone missed the meeting, they can just go back and easily re-watch this. This decreases the chance of anyone missing out on a tutorial/lesson we ran through and no one will be disadvantaged by this.
It also encourages interaction as they can ask us any questions that they may have and we can respond to them immediately. Audio and video conferencing also reduces the feeling of isolation.
About Camille Canuto
Camille Canuto is a Sales and Marketing Executive at Smartsims Business Simulations. They provide business simulators for high school, college and university students, and business professionals. Their simulations provide an experiential learning environment to users which provide them with real-world skills, experience and genuine confidence.
Kalpana Arya, Tech Jockey
Video and audio conferencing technology is revolutionizing today’s healthcare system by allowing multidisciplinary consults, virtual rounding and patient consultations. From making pre-admission stages smoother to coordinating patient care and planning their discharge, video conferencing is promoting efficiency at every stage.
Not just the healthcare sector, but educational institutes are also delivering collaborative educational experiences by connecting students, teachers and outside experts at a single platform. Embedded video solutions are quite popular amongst researchers and scholars to collaborate with their team and share their findings effectively in real-time.
Not to forget the inclination of government and federal bodies towards video conferencing to reduce the time and money spent on travel. By replacing traditional communication channels with video conferencing, different industries are taking a significant step towards enhanced productivity and efficiency.
Kalpana is a tech enthusiast presently working with Techjockey as a Technical Content Expert. Her expertise lies in writing about different business software.
Loren Shaw, InFocus
Over the past decade, and even more so recently, we have seen a major shift in how people interact in the workplace, no matter the industry, whether it be healthcare, education, government, corporate, or enterprise.
Remote work is at an all-time high – according to Global Workplace Analytics, 4.3M Americans work from home at least half the time. Today, people are able to connect online, work together in real-time and truly collaborate effectively from anywhere in the work thanks to a combination of video conferencing and collaboration technology solutions.
This shift in how we work and having access to effective tools, has caused many industries to revolutionize. Businesses of all types are able to reduce travel spend and other overhead costs, while maintaining (and even increasing) productivity and efficiency.
Everyone, in the public and private sectors, has better access to information and can initiate global partnerships around the globe. Students are no longer restricted geographically by the schools they can apply to or by learning opportunities in general. Technically anyone can sit in on a lecture anywhere in the world, thanks to video conferencing and eLearning.
The opportunities presented by video conferencing are endless and we are only just seeing the tip of the iceberg thus far.
About Loren Shaw
Loren Shaw’s responsibilities at In Focus include management of global marketing activities and oversight of the product management team. He joined the company as Product Line Director 10 years ago, and previously served as Director of Marketing.
Shaw has experience with every aspect of the product life cycle, from development and sales to marketing and support. He was Country Manager, Japan, for Pixelworks, where he managed a team of software engineers and oversaw regional sales to top electronics brands and the company’s distribution relationships. He was previously Business Development Director at Ziba Design, consulting for top consumer global brands.
He has a BA from Lewis and Clark College and an MA in International Business from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, now part of Arizona State University. Shaw is a volunteer with Medical Teams International and a member of MTI’s Auction Committee.
Alvaro Cortina, Clutch Prep
As an online video tutoring service, we've enjoyed the benefit of how video-conferencing brings us together for such an important matter as education is.
Having online sessions with students remotely in where we can assist them as if we were in the same room brings not only a solution to help students nationwide but also lets us run an online business with employees across the globe.
This wouldn't be possible to execute properly if we didn't have the face-to-face conversations we can have with our remote employees but also make them feel they are part of the organization no matter where they are by simply sitting down to have lunch together as we do every Tuesday.
About Alvaro Cortina
Alvaro Cortina is the Operations Manager at ClutchPrep, an ed-tech startup, based in Miami, FL.
Dave Wortman, Diagnotes
We live in an era of autologous stem cell transplants and minimally-invasive robot-assisted laparoscopic surgeries. And yet, the delivery of these miraculous medical discoveries still regularly depends on the use of faxes, pagers and other obsolete tools to coordinate care.
Healthcare organizations are starting to recognize the usefulness of encouraging clinicians to use their personal smartphones to extend their services virtually to hard-to-reach patients and allowing providers to connect with each other to discuss patient care and share visuals of what is happening in real-time with patients, such as test results, ultrasounds, wounds and infections, etc.
As long as the communication is secure, the idea of telehealth is truly as simple as healthcare with a smartphone.
About Dave Wortman
Dave Wortman is co-founder, chairman and CEO of Diagnotes. An experienced executive and entrepreneur, he serves as a director, adviser and chairman for several emerging technology and healthcare companies. Since 2011, Wortman has led the Diagnotes team through product development and funding to commercialization of the first fully integrated HIPAA-compliant communication platform designed for healthcare organizations.
Christo Petrov, Tech Jury
Video and audio conferencing has the potential to revolutionize the eLearning industry in the same way Wikipedia changed the business of publishing encyclopedias.
Online tutoring can benefit from new technologies that make it possible to connect teachers and students, even if they are thousands of miles apart.
The global market for online tutoring is set to grow with a CAGR of 14% all the way to 2022, according to Technavio estimates. Therefore, we can expect a lot of new online solutions that satisfy the need for interactive one-on-one learning.
About Christo Petrov
Christo Petrov is a software tester and author at techjury.net
David Hsieh, Kaptivo
Advancements in video and audio technologies are getting closer and closer to enabling a remote work environment that truly is “just like being there”.
This is a game changer for how companies think about where to find talent, how their employees work together and how quickly they can solve problems or innovate.
Emerging technologies like spatial hi-def audio, 4K video and integrated whiteboard collaboration give everyone the same experience no matter where they are located.
About David Hsieh
David Hsieh is the CEO of Kaptivo, a whiteboard camera solution that transforms any whiteboard into a digital collaboration tool to help enhance workplace collaboration and technology. David is a growth oriented executive who blends strategy and creativity to reshape markets, build companies and drive measurable results. His experience lies in Big Data, AI/ML, Cloud, Collaboration, System software, Business Applications, IoT, Video and Networking.
- Students can now “study abroad” and share ideas with foreign students without leaving their home campus.
- Universities and schools are now teaching via live virtual classes where students can ask questions in real time.
- A lot of new online solutions that satisfy the need for interactive one-on-one learning can be expected.
For Patients and Medical Professionals
- Videoconferencing-driven telemedicine and prescription medication can now be combined with lower cost.
- Mental health services can now be provided to patients in the comfort of their own homes.
- Clinicians can use personal smartphones to extend health care service virtually to hard-to-reach patients.
- Through the ubiquity and convenience of videoconferencing technology, conferences can take place any time and anywhere.
- Businesses are using videoconferencing to run live simulations for participants in e-learning programs.
- Customers can learn about products and connect with businesses in a unique and personal way.
- Videoconference-enabled remote work can decreases business-operating costs.
- More than 70 percent of course demonstrations can be delivered to potential clients virtually rather than through personal visits.
- Meeting sessions can be recorded for absent team members.
- Travel expenses and other overhead costs are reduced while maintaining and increasing productivity and efficiency.
- Employees are made to feel a part of the team, wherever they are.
- It is a game changer for how companies find talent.
No matter the industry, there is no question that the advantages of video conferencing technologies are far-reaching. As our experts above have outlined, this modern mode of communication has made penetrating markets, expanding clientele, and retaining customers easier than ever before.
In terms of internal communications, the advantages of video conferencing are also clear. This technology has now made it possible for multinational companies to have meaningful interactions with their colleagues in other countries without leaving their chair.
In other words, audio and video conferencing technology makes collaboration smoother at much lower costs.
Huge thanks to everyone who contributed to this awesome piece!