(Reposted — originally published 11/9/2011) As healthcare providers gear up for telehealth, they’ll face new issues such as 24×7 remote monitoring and the need to support virtual doctor visits by telepresence over the Internet. I wrote before here and here, there must be compatibility among different video systems, including the enterprise class-systems in hospitals and consumer-class systems in PC & mobile devices.
Until today, the two prominent solutions I knew about were Vidyo and a Lifesize Communications technology called ClearSea. Both are cloud-based services that translate between incompatible video systems, but now there’s another option.
Stratus Video offers a ViewMe collaboration solution to connect high-definition telepresence systems from Cisco, Lifesize Communications and Polycom with PCs and Macs, Apple iPhones, and Android-based smartphones. Built-in firewall security helps protect patient data per HIPAA requirements. Patients make video telehealth calls for free, but healthcare providers pay a flat fee monthly to manage video calls as a PBX manages voice calls and share data and images.
The Stratus Video Call Center (VCC) adds the capabilities of a virtual waiting room, so rather than waiting days or weeks for an appointment and traveling to the doctor, patients can be electronically routed to clinicians who then determine how well treatment is working and if the patient should be “seen” remotely or should come in for an in-person exam and tests.
Such telehealth systems help clinicians coordinate with caregivers to evaluate patients recently discharged from hospitals, those suffering from chronic conditions like diabetes, people with a cold or the flu, even psychiatric patients. As regulations evolve to support this new technology and awareness of it increases among practitioners and patients, market adoption will increase, so it’s a space to watch.