One of the best investments I ever made in my career has been a Chromebook for telemedicine. It’s a laptop like any other but it runs a really simple operating system and does everything I need for my telemedicine work and everything else I need personally.
It’s not that doing telemedicine is difficult but having to type everything out really bothers my wrists. Purchasing a Chromebook for telemedicine is probably the best thing you can do to save yourself some carpal tunnel headaches.
My Hardware for Telemedicine
I own 2 laptops just because I like to have a backup. The first is the original Google Pixelbook which has been replaced by the Pixelbook Go.
I purchased this is because it converts into a tablet. I like this aspect because I can continue using it on a plane during landing and takeoff and I can use it as a reader.
My backup laptop is the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook. It’s thin, light, and also folds into a tablet. It has a small pen as well which tucks into the body neatly.
I also use a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. They connect really easily to my laptops and they go into hibernation mode when I’m not using them. It saves battery.
Chromebooks for telemedicine are ideal not just because they are light but they are also lean. The software is pretty much a Chrome browser. I have all my password saved and I can add lots of Chrome extensions.
I use the dictation feature a lot. The laptop has its own dictation feature so I dictate pretty much all of my text when doing telemedicine. It’s very accurate and really efficient.
I also have the Grammarly extension so that when I’m typing content for clients it’s professional.
And for any quick videos, I want to send to patients or healthcare consulting clients I use Loom. I pay for it – actually, I pay for most of the software I use regularly, just a habit. IMO, the paid versions are far better than the free.
Obviously, you would be just fine if you had a MacBook or some sort of a PC computer or laptop. But the advantage of having a Chromebook is that it is really versatile and you can take it on the go and you can work from a coffee shop or you can set it up nicely like I have on a laptop stand and get a lot of work done.
Probably one of the most important aspects for me is the ability to dictate a lot of things. In fact, I’m not using my hands for this post, I’m dictating everything using my Chromebook. I only have to make very small adjustments.
Okay, well, it’s actually a little annoying writing blog posts using dictation so I’ll stop now but it’s great for emails and SOAP notes.
Both of these laptops use a USB-C type connector and so I’m able to charge it from my charging brick which is about 26,000 amps. It’s incredible and it’s more than enough for me to travel with and charge my laptops at least two to three times.
The battery life on the Google Pixelbook is about 8 hours of work. But on this Samsung, it’s only about 4 hours.
I think I paid about $1,000 for my Google Chromebook and I paid somewhere around $600 for this Samsung.
It’s an investment. It’s something that I write off against my income on my schedule C with the IRS. And what I like most about these laptops is that the prices are really reasonable and you get a lot for the money.
Limitations of Chromebook
I’m able to watch YouTube videos and even Netflix and able to manipulate files just fine. In fact, you can download pretty much any app from the Google Play Store and use it. I really like the fact that I can use this laptop to edit audio and video. It’s not perfect, by no means is it a Mac.
For those of you who need much more editing capabilities or the ability to install certain types of software, obviously, this is not going to cut it.
And especially if you’re not used to the Android atmosphere this is going to feel rather weird to you. But chances are you are familiar with the Chrome browser and so for the most part you’ll be fairly comfortable.
When it comes to doing telemedicine I honestly try to keep it as simple as possible. The only thing that has been really helpful for me are good quality headphones.
I have a set of Sennheiser momentum wireless headphones which are the over the ear type. And I have the Samsung Galaxy buds. I don’t know which type there are several.
If I could go back I probably would not have even bothered with a laptop stand or a wireless mouse or keyboard. But now that I have used it for some time I’m sort of used to it and I guess there’s no going back now.