The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting dental professionals with unprecedented challenges in balancing public and employee health while providing continuity of care to their patients and maintaining their practices. Government guidelines enforcing social distancing, coupled with ADA and other association guidelines to refrain from all but emergency treatment, are the right measures to help prevent spread of the virus and protect public health. At the same time, these necessary precautions have made it difficult for doctors to continue supporting patient care and in-progress treatment.
Today, new digital technologies are making it possible for doctors to maintain virtual contact with their patients when they cannot visit the office. While the notion of virtual care existed prior to the pandemic, the need for social distancing has brought this technology center stage.
In late February 2020, Align initiated a pilot of new digital tools to help doctors virtually connect to their Invisalign clear aligner patients. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Align recently accelerated the availability of its new Invisalign Virtual Appointment (previously Smile Consult) and Invisalign Virtual Care technology to help support doctors and their patients through this challenging time.
“Providing doctors with access to these technologies was the right thing to do for doctors and their patients,” noted Simon Beard, SVP and GM of the Americas, Align Technology. “This is a technology that will help doctors now, and a tool that will be available to help doctors over the long term when practices reopen their doors.”
With Invisalign Virtual Appointment, practices can quickly and easily set up a virtual face-to-face appointment with patients. This helps doctors to:
• Check in on patients’ treatment progress
• Discuss patient concerns remotely
• Help answer questions before bringing in prospective patients for an exam
Invisalign Virtual Appointment is a fully online, digital and HIPAA-compliant solution that offers an easy-to-use interface which is intuitive for front office team members to learn and implement. Invisalign Virtual Appointment is available for Invisalign-certified doctors to begin using in their practice within 24 business hours after accepting the Terms and Conditions.
Invisalign Virtual Care works via the Invisalign Doctor Site (IDS) and the My Invisalign app to connect doctors and Invisalign patients virtually. It enables remote monitoring and virtual appointments with your patients in two ways:
• Remote monitoring: Patients use their smartphones to take progress photos and videos, which automatically upload into the doctor’s new Virtual Care tab in the Invisalign Doctor Site (IDS). The Virtual Care tab includes tools and features to monitor treatment progress, and allows doctors to send messages back through IDS via email/texts that their patients then receive in the My Invisalign app.
• Virtual appointments: Doctors can also schedule virtual appointments with their Invisalign patients using the Zoom Cloud Meetings app, so that they can have virtual face-to-face conversations in a HIPAA-compliant virtual environment.
Invisalign Virtual Care is being rolled out to doctors in groups to allow Align to scale for effective training and to permit real-time refinement of the technology based on feedback and suggestions from doctors.
Align is providing these tools at no cost to Invisalign-certified doctors.
Additional information can be found HERE
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