The COVID-19 pandemic led to an inevitable surge in telemedicine technologies and the use of healthcare chat APIs, due to the distancing norms and lockdowns. Communication API for telehealth had always been utilized to build the bridge between healthcare providers and patients or users. However, telemedicine took a centre stage during the pandemic, and healthcare systems were forced to redefine procedures overnight!
As the COVID-19 pandemic spread rapidly and overwhelmed health systems, communication APIs via telemedicine was used in many different ways to communicate, coordinate and tackle the numerous challenges. Nonetheless, it seems that communication APIs used in telemedicine is likely to have a permanent place and offer innovative healthcare solutions even long after COVID-19 is over.
Would it be right to say that telemedicine is the future of the healthcare system?
Telemedicine refers to remote medical services offered by a healthcare system using communication technology from a distance. Telemedicine is used when a physician, doctor, or care provider is located far from the patient and/or cannot physically visit the patient due to any other reason, such as COVID-19. Telemedicine creates a facility to offer services through real-time two-way communication using chat, audio, or voice communication API for telehealth.
Telemedicine is not a new development! Patients and healthcare providers have been communicating using electronic, audio, and visual means for several years now. However, post COVID-19, several hospitals have already integrated or are considering integrating telemedicine into their care delivery module. This states that telemedicine has established itself within mainstream healthcare systems and is here to stay for the future.
So, how did telemedicine create an impact during recent times?
In these recent times – where non-essential hospital visits should be discouraged, telemedicine played an important role in allowing steadiness and continuity of healthcare services. With the help of chat, voice and video call API for telehealth apps, outpatient clinic visits such as routine follow-ups were conducted virtually. Nevertheless, telemedicine did not just benefit the community and the patients but also created a reliable channel for healthcare providers to stay connected. Healthcare providers could limit contact with patients to help reduce the risk of transmission, save time, and efficiently use resources.
What type of virtual support did video and voice call API for telehealth offer during COVID-19?
During COVID-19 healthcare systems doubled down their “digital front door” efforts, empowering patients to handle routine communications with their doctors or care providers. Several healthcare providers offered these telemedicine services via communication APIs through patient portals to offer ease and efficiency.
The portal is supported by creating accessibility to schedule appointments, pay the hospital or medical test bills, find a doctor or a specialist, book consultations, and navigate with the healthcare system itself. Virtual care and support also enabled healthcare providers to manage and remotely monitor patients from their homes during COVID-19 without transporting the patient to the health centre. Furthermore, with virtual connectivity during COVID-19 healthcare providers could proceed faster and create an overall approachable and decisive environment than ever before.
What does it mean to be HIPAA compliant for telemedicine?
As reported by the American Hospital Association, over 75% of healthcare providers offer telemedicine as a service with around 70% of current users. This shows patients have adopted the idea of virtually communicating with their healthcare providers via text, email, or video. So, while patients and providers are embracing convenience and accessibility, security is still a concern. This is where HIPAA compliance comes into existence.
What is HIPAA Compliance?
HIPAA refers to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. HIPAA sets standards for sensitive patient data protection. Being HIPAA compliant is to adhere to the physical, administrative, and technical safety measures. It simply states that healthcare providers, business associates, and third-party entities must uphold to protect the integrity of Protected Health Information (PHI) and safeguard the information provided by the patients.
Role of HIPAA In Telemedicine:
The role of HIPAA in telemedicine ensures that platforms limit ePHI access to only authorized users, verify users’ identity, and use a channel for secure and encrypted communications. It is also important that telehealth apps monitor communications that contain ePHI and validate data to ensure its integrity. Under such circumstances, it is crucial to use communication APIs that follow the above-noted standards. Hence, we have listed the features you must look for while opting for a HIPAA compliant in-app communication API.
Listed below are the features of communication API to develop a telehealth app:
GDPR & HIPAA Compliant – When opting for a healthcare API and SDK for iOS, Android, or Web know that it is GDPR and HIPAA compliant. While GDPR applies to all sensitive personal data, HIPAA takes care of the Protected Health Information (PHI) and secures the patients’ sensitive information.
Data-Rich Communications – Adapting a video or voice call API for telehealth apps with data-rich communication systems offers an analytical approach. With quality data, analysis becomes easy and comprehensive predictive models can be designed. Data managers and clinicians can further offer better healthcare services using the analyzed data.
Connected Ecosystem – A telehealth app creates a connected ecosystem and is beneficial for both patients and medical staff. Therefore, it is vital to choose the right video and voice call API for healthcare apps as it does create room for finer patient care and offers perks for all actors.
How voice and video communication technology built with API is influencing the healthcare system?
There are several variables within the voice and video communication technology built with API that has been successful in influencing the healthcare systems, some of them are as follow:
- With the help of voice and video communication technology, healthcare providers can create custom solutions.
- Clinicians are able to deliver a compliant and flexible patient care experience on a real-time basis.
- Also, real-time communication makes it easy for doctors to pick up on facial expressions and body language cues.
- Moreover, telemedicine technology that is built using APIs is aligned with stringent healthcare privacy and data management guidelines – which ensures it is safe to use.
During the pandemic, communication APIs have helped telemedicine technology to optimize the processes and the overall healthcare systems for greater efficiency, financial viability, and enhanced outcomes. Besides, with the right voice communication API for telehealth, there is tremendous opportunity to create a new normal and redefine the healthcare system.
So, if you would like to find out which is the right communication API for your healthcare app, simply follow this link https://www.mirrorfly.com and connect with an expert today!