Real-Talk: A Monthly Spotlight on Live Video and Real-Time Communications – November 2018

November Real-Time Communications

Welcome back to another month of the hottest news, views and developments in the world of live video, WebRTC and real-time communications.

Highlights from this month’s issue of Real-Talk include a new study that reveals the skyrocketing adoption of telehealth; innovators predict the future of remote collaboration will be powered by augmented, virtual reality and telepresence robots; and Facebook turns to teens to boost its live video chat app Bonfire.

Telemedicine use among commercially insured skyrocketed since 2005 | Healthcare Dive

Annual telehealth visits among the commercially insured increased by 52% annually from 2005 to 2014 and 261% from 2015 to 2017, according to a new study published in JAMA. Visits increased from just 206 in 2005 to roughly 202,300 in 2017, most likely driven by increased payer coverage for direct-to-consumer telemedicine, the report says. The study, which attempts to address the lack of knowledge about telemedicine adoption nationwide, analyzed de-identified data from more than 200 million privately insured and Medicare Advantage enrollees in research group OptumLabs’ database…read more

5 predictions for the future of remote working tools | Fast Company

In the last 20 years, there has been an explosion of affordable tools that enable remote working, ranging from communication applications and project management platforms, to file and document sharing services, to the myriad of industry-specific tools. Despite the drastic increase in the capabilities made available to remote and freelance employees, they are believed to pale in comparison to some of the innovations that are just around the corner. Here are five predictions about the future of remote working tools, according to the founders of some of the companies that are helping to build them…read more

Facebook Goes Back to College to Promote New Video Chat App for Teens | Cheddar

Facebook employees were on a college campus to get the word out about a new video-chat app, Bonfire. Bonfire was quietly released in Denmark and Norway about a year ago, and Facebook made the app available in Canada this week on both Apple’s App Store and on Android. The app essentially functions as Apple’s FaceTime with Snapchat-like face filters and Houseparty, a group video-chat app that’s popular among teens.

So far, Bonfire is far from a hit. The app has been downloaded about 12,000 times with 2,500 downloads in the last 30 days, app analytics firm Apptopia told Cheddar. But Facebook’s grassroots efforts to popularize the app among college students indicates that the company sees Bonfire as a potential way to lure younger users…read more

Predictions 2019: The cobots are coming | CIO

Up until the last decade, robots were created to operate autonomously or with restricted guidance. In the past few years, telepresence robots have been around, but have not gained widespread traction in the enterprise. Yet, increasingly we are seeing classes of robots designed to interact with people in a distributed physical space, according to Glasnapp and Meehan, who are UX researcher, and designer and technologist respectively, at PARC, a Xerox Company. As the year comes to an end, the two share some predictions on the digital workplace, specifically, the rise of the cobot – a robot interacting and functioning with people…read more

Bright Health Raises $200M For Affordable Individual Health Insurance | CrunchBase

Bright Health, a tech-enabled health insurance startup has raised $200 million. The company aims to be a provider of affordable individual and family healthcare both directly and through state-based marketplaces. Bright Health isn’t the only company looking to jump in on the individual market with a focus on the narrow network. Oscar Health, has also raised a significant amount of cash for its own efforts, including a $165 million round and a $375 million investment from Google’s parent company Alphabet. Oscar Health also emphasizes its telehealth program, which connects its customers to healthcare specialists through video conference and chat-based appointments…read more

You can catch up on October’s live video and real-time communications news here