Posts Tagged ‘Telemedicine’


In: Blog, Corona Virus, The practice of Medicine

Comments Off on Rheumatology Appointments During Corona Virus Pandemic (Revised 21/3/2020)

This is just to let you all know that I have decided to suspend physical appointments in my office for the foreseeable future. These will be replaced, where possible, with video and telephone consultations which  have been in place for the last week, and are working well.

I will still be available to provide emergency, in person care, where necessary.

As the spread of the Corona virus in the community deepens, so does the likelihood of being exposed to the virus, particularly to those carrying the virus, who have not yet developed symptoms. This makes it very difficult to identify those at risk of spreading infection.

I have made this difficult decision to to protect all of those under my care, my staff, and myself from unnecessary exposure to the virus, and to assist public health efforts to slow its spread through social distancing.

I also have a duty of care to provide on-going care to existing patients, and I will continue to provide support using video consultations and the phone.

I am also asking all patients with non urgent problems to postpone their visits for the moment. All non-urgent new patient appointments will also be postponed.

This situation will remain in place until April 19th 2020 in the first place. Please check back here for updates.

Where patients need to attend in person, additional special precautions will be taken to protect patients and staff.

Infusion therapies will continue as scheduled but extra precautions are in place. If there is any change to this situation the infusion centre will contact you.

I have a scheduled appointment. Do I need to contact the office?

No. My office will contact you directly to arrange a video or phone appointment, or to reschedule.

I don’t have an appointment but need one. What do I do?

Rest assured the office team are all still working and contactable. The best way to contact the office at the moment is by email on (not GDPR compliant but I’ll leave that up to you). The phone has been particularly busy this week so it currently the easiest way to get in touch.

Thanks for your patience and understanding at this difficult time. Stay safe.

Dr. Ronan Kavanagh MD FRCPI



In: Blog

Comments Off on Remote Video Consultations during Covid 19 Pandemic

As the Novel Corona Virus / Covid 19 infection becomes more and more prevalent, it is likely that increasing degrees of social distancing will be recommended.

Whereas my outpatient clinics and infusion services are still running normally, I do have the facility to offer video consultations for existing patients who cannot attend in person for whatever reason.

What is required for it to work will be access to a good internet connection, a PC / laptop with a screen, microphone and speaker (most modern PC’s will have this available). iPads and Tablets will also work, and (at a pinch) a mobile phone with 4G internet access.

For those who would like to schedule a video consultation, please contact my office on 091 720095 or email Angela on Please note that information sent by email is not secure and not GDPR compliant.




Although I sometimes flatter myself that patients actually look forward to seeing me for their appointments, the reality is that for most, attending doctor appointments can be a bit of a chore.

Medical appointments themselves don’t take that long but the process of getting there often does. There’s the time off work or childcare to consider, finding a hospital car parking space, or the demands of negotiating a journey with the additional demands of the symptoms of a chronic illness. The consolation of a waiting room which allows unlimited access to vintage copies of Hello magazine or Homes and Gardens isn’t always enough…

Thats why I was fascinated to demo a system that might allow patients to experience the benefits of a medical consultation, from the comfort of their own home or workplace.


Facetalk is a new, secure, hi definition video consultation system developed by the Radboud REshape & Innovation Center the Netherlands. The Facetalk tagline is  ‘Your Virtual Consultation Room’. 

Lucien Engelen, the director of the centre showed me how it worked.

Our ‘appointment’ took place during the evening when I was at home and Lucien (whom I expect works longer hours than most doctors) was still at work. The email invitation I received to the appointment included a link which prompted me to download a piece of software to my iPad (the platform can be viewed on PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone and Android).

Once installed (pausing only briefly to settle an argument between two of my kids and put the rubbish out), I was then ready to ‘attend’.

And there was Lucien. All three of him. In order to show me how easy it was to have a number of people connected simultaneously, Lucien had connected toFacetalk using three devices simultaneously;  his PC, iPadmini and iPhone. Lucien, as the “doctor” in the consultation, was able to share his desktop with me show me xray, clinical images or videos (in hi definition). He explained how up to 10 people can attend a meeting simultaneously (eg a patient, attendee of their choice, GP, Hospital doctor physiotherapist etc). A hard feat to pull off in real life in a busy outpatient clinic.


I was able to attend my meeting with Lucien from my office but also – because I was using a tablet device –  from my kitchen or even (theoretically, but lets not go there) my downstairs toilet.

Facetalk has already been piloted to facilitate a diagnosis of skin cancer, out patient neurology appointments,  paediatric urology consultations, palliative care consultations, TPN prescribing and and cleft palate.

The advantages of Facetalk are, according to Lucien, that it is secure (neither Skype nor Google Hangouts are secure for Healthcare use), doesn’t require any fancy hardware, works on all systems (except Blackberry), and that is does not require Flash (use of Flash video can pose additional security issues – not to mention, viewing problems on Apple mobile devices). Facetalk has also incorporated a workflow solution for healthcare without the additional hassle of security codes and does not require registration at the patients’ end.

It works over a regular home broadband connection and also works over 3G connections (think ‘Youtube’ over 3G).

I think it is likely that Facetalk will also add value for doctors. It will allow us to collaborate with specialists without the need for travel, might reduce the amount of time necessary for a consultation, and potentially reduce the need for office space and secretarial staff where there are less patients are physically present.

I’m decided to offer it to a group of my patients who are interested in using it in place of their regular appointment. I feel its probably going to lend itself better to patients who I know reasonably well, who have conditions where perhaps a thorough physical examination may not be necessary on every visit; eg Ankylosing Spondylitis, stable psoriatic arthritis or fibromyalgia. I’ll let you know how I get on.

Would anyone like to buy some old copies of Hello magazine?