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Telehealth on Providers’ Minds: 5 Virtual Care Updates
Telehealth use skyrocketed out of necessity since the pandemic’s onset, and many industry players have run with the ball to improve patient care quality, increase patient satisfaction, reduce business costs, and optimize the time of everyone involved. Just last week, for example, a variety of communications and collaboration providers introduced new or updated products for the healthcare sector.
A central theme is ease of use, which is critical to the scaling of video in the healthcare, Zeus Kerravala, founder, and principal analyst with ZK Research, told No Jitter via email. “Not everyone runs Zoom,” he said in speaking of Zoom’s beta release of a mobile browser client for Apple iOS devices (see details below). “There are many people who have low levels of technical acumen where the process of downloading and installing the Zoom client might be too intimidating or complicated — preventing them from participating in a telehealth call, he said.
In addition, some folks also might be concerned about the security implications. “In either case, the browser client makes it easy for people to join a session,” Kerravala said.
Besides Zoom, recent telehealth-oriented updates come from Verizon Business, Cisco, Revation Systems, and Everbridge.
Verizon Business Updates BlueJeans Telehealth App
Verizon Business last week announced an update for BlueJeans Telehealth, a virtual care platform introduced in April and earlier this month shortlisted as an overall finalist in the 2021 Best of Enterprise Connect Award competition. BlueJeans Telehealth sessions, available for access from the app or via a desktop or mobile browser, now include a Televisit Tile and an integration with Apple’s Health app, with an eye on providing a broader view of the patient’s health, Verizon Business said.
Specifically, the Televisit Tile collects and displays session-specific information, such as patient-entered symptoms. Televisit Tile supports document sharing, and includes a patient selector to ensure that user data is only viewable and secure between the patient and healthcare provider, making it ideal for group sessions, Verizon Business said.
With the Apple integration, patients using the BlueJeans app on an iPhone are able to share Health app data such as heart rate, ECG, sleep, step count, falls, and mobility directly within a session on an appointment-by-appointment basis, Verizon Business said. The shared data is encrypted in transit and at rest.
Cisco Launches WebRTC Option for Browser Access
Cisco earlier this month revealed Webex Instant Connect, a HIPAA-compliant, browser-based WebRTC integration that lets patients schedule and manage video consultations from Epic’s electronic health record (EHR) portal rather than via a downloaded application or browser plug-in. This WebRTC-based offering follows on the March integration with Epic’s EHR system.
When a provider logs into the EHR portal and schedules a telehealth appointment, Webex Instant Connect allows a patient to join from within the EHR portal using a secure URL generated by the system. During the telehealth appointments, participants can share screens to review images, charts, and other clinical documents, Cisco added. Webex Instant Connect applies privacy and security protection to all communications within the session.
Zoom Introduces Mobile Browser Client for Patients
Zoom last week announced the beta release of a HIPAA-compliant iOS mobile browser client, available on its Zoom for Healthcare platform, Zoom said in a blog post. This new access option will allow patients to join a telehealth appointment by clicking on a Zoom meeting link sent by the provider via email or text rather than having to download the Zoom app.
Zoom said it intends to expand the mobile browser client to other operating systems, along with other updates that include the ability for providers to send a meeting link via email or text without exposing the web scheduler’s email address or phone number and virtual waiting room enhancements that will allow providers to send chat messages and play a pre-recorded video while patients wait.
Revation Systems Updates Digital-First Healthcare Platform
Revation Systems last week announced three advancements to its LinkLive UC platform for healthcare organizations. These updates aim to address the rise in remote and mobile patient engagement, deepen EHR integrations to automate patient transfers, and provide more flexible access to care through a combination of remote and in-person visits, the company said. Details follow:
- Digital Agent Experience – development of web-based experiences aimed at solving critical workflows and providing deeper integrations with healthcare applications. For example, patient transfer teams can share data through an EHR integration that enables agents to handle multiple transfer requests simultaneously. An ad-hoc videoconferencing capability gives agents visual access to all sessions, Revation Systems said.
- Digital Office – CMyServices (see image below) is a new digital office portal that gives case workers, pharmacists, sales representatives, and healthcare providers secure access to a variety of channels for patient or member engagement. CMyServices, which uses the company’s new web-based digital customer service experience, integrates with leading EHR systems. It is available as a stand-alone service and to existing LinkLive users.
- Mobile Worker 2.0 – Targeted at case workers going from site to site, this app incorporates EHR and CRM data to automate workflows and associate communications with patient and agent information, Revation Systems said. It is available for Apple and Android mobile devices.
Everbridge Upgrades Clinical Collaboration Solutions
Everbridge, a provider of critical event management solutions, last week announced updated versions of its CareConverge and HippaBridge applications to include new real-time and secure collaboration tools. Through a single UC platform, CareConverge connects care providers to patients and gives them the ability to reach the entire care team whether they be on or offsite. Providers can also take advantage of mobile scheduling, group messaging, custom and private chat channels, and single sign-on, Everbridge said.
CareConverge works across multiple hospital locations and schedules, which means clinicians can automate workflows and coordinate with staff across the healthcare system, while single sign-on and touch ID enabling instant access to multiple hospital locations from a single account, Everbridge added. CareConverge integrates with existing EHR systems and can help reduce the risk of non-compliant HIPAA violations, Everbridge said.
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