Hacking Health Tech: TokBox at HackHLTH Las Vegas

health tech hackhlth with TokBox

Recently, my colleagues and I were in Las Vegas sponsoring HackHLTH at the inaugural HLTH conference on the future of healthcare  The hackathon was geared towards building health tech solutions that would improve the health industry and create a more robust ecosystem. In little more than 24 hours there were over 80 projects from over 250 participants.

Many of those projects took advantage of the OpenTok platform to include live video in their apps. It’s a testament to the great work of the TokBox engineering team that it’s so quick and easy to get live video up and running. I was proud to see teams build such a variety of solutions in such a short space of time.

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Address Global Privacy Requirements with Regional Media Zones

Live Video in Europe

When we undertook our Global Social Video Study last year we were surprised to find that we had users on the OpenTok platform from over 150 countries. There was even an instance of a live video chat involving users from 13 countries at the same time! The OpenTok platform provides global reach but there are times when compliance dictates that media traffic be restricted or geo-fenced to a specific region or country. To support the finer level of control required we are delighted to introduce our latest advanced security feature – Regional Media Zones.

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Making the Telehealth Opportunity Simple for Private Practice

telehealth for private practice with SimplePractice

We’ve written before about the possibilities available via live video to improve access to vital health services. While we see a lot of adoption in large hospital chains, telehealth for private practice presents an important opportunity to increase access to a whole range of health and wellness services.

Existing software providers know that telehealth is coming. More and more are adapting their platforms to react to the demand of their customers: doctors, therapists, dietitians and more.

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How the OnCall e-clinic has helped one provider grow her practice by over 1350%

OncallHC telemedicine solution for providers

Outside of big cities, doctor’s practices deal with the challenge of long distances and disperse populations every day. The OnCall team know the situation well. They had built a successful brick & mortar practice in Chandler, Arizona.

Patients were willing to drive long distances to see their preferred doctors – sometimes up to 3 hours, every month. So as video technology improved, the team seized the opportunity to redefine the way those patients could communicate with their doctors.  

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Enabling a Live Video Experience That’s Powerful and Secure

A technical look at the live video security and HIPAA compliance strategies used by leading Telehealth provider InTouch Health.

The most exciting part about building a Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) is that it caters to a variety of use-cases – from social video apps, eLearning & telehealth platforms, webinars or a disruptive new way of using video to serve a need that we haven’t foreseen yet.

TokBox customers are pioneers in their respective verticals. They are using live video to build powerful and engaging experiences in schools, hospitals and banks. Many of these environments have highly restrictive networks and stringent security requirements that pose challenges that are hard to meet for a multi-tenant cloud provider like OpenTok. We have been working closely with these customers to better understand their requirements and finding innovative ways to serve them.

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Putting Our Heads Together for Solutions for Mental Health

Co-authored by Manik Sachdeva, TokBox Developer Evangelist.

When we talk about health, it’s often physical health which is at the forefront of our plans. However, mental health is equally important, but often takes a back seat. It’s perhaps not surprising: mental health is not well understood by the general public. Unfortunately it can come with a big dose of stigma attached as a result.

To top it off, it can be difficult to find a professional to help overcome challenges. Even when you do have access to a qualified clinician, the cost can be prohibitive.

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Telehealth: Can You Hear My Heart Now?

Telehealth - Laennec Stethoscope from 1820

The stethoscope was invented 201 years ago in 1816 by René Laennec in Paris, or possibly thousands of years earlier by the ancient Egyptians! We all know from any visit to a nurse or doctor that the simple “analog” stethoscope remains today a key tool for healthcare professionals who can quickly interpret anomalies from listening to heart, lung, abdominal and other body sounds. So, what happens in Telehealth systems when the doctor is remote and is connected digitally over the Internet by video and audio to the patient?

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Key Technology Challenges for the Healthcare Industry

health-care-generic-1In our last blog post, (a peek at the future of healthcare) we considered the key drivers behind innovation in the health care industry.  Telehealth has seen explosive market growth in recent years and shows no sign of slowing down. Despite its enormous potential for growth, the healthcare industry faces regulatory challenges that impede innovation.

Since the 1996 introduction of HIPAA, (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), the healthcare industry has become highly regulated. The scope and complexity of healthcare regulation has made it incredibly difficult for organizations to adopt new technologies. Compared to other industries, they have been relatively slow to adopt technological innovations as a result.  This trend has manifested itself in the adoption of the public cloud, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), and even the storage of online health records.  With this in mind, one can assume this trend will repeat itself when it comes to browser based real time communications powered by WebRTC.

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The Rise Of On Demand Healthcare

healthcare1

When you think about the hottest startup or innovation sectors, one may naturally think of artificial intelligence, Cloud computing or robotics. And you wouldn’t be wrong. But one you might be surprised to hear is right up the top of that list is Health, and specifically on demand health.

In a revealing study by Accenture, covered in this Forbes article, the growth of the on-demand health sector is second only to ride-sharing when it comes to attracting investment. Investment in on-demand health services is projected to reach $1 billion in 2017, up from only $200 million in 2014. According to Accenture, “healthcare is the fastest growing on-demand sector , representing one-sixth of total U.S. funding from 2010 to 2014.”

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The New Way to Workout with WebRTC

fitnessapp3

In today’s hyper-connected world, individuals are increasingly looking to online services and solutions to give them more flexibility in their day-to-day life. Industries across the board are now operating online to meet the needs of today’s consumers and make their services more accessible – from e-commerce through to banking.

The healthcare and wellness industry is no exception. Patients can already visit the doctor virtually through their smartphone, or communicate with a specialist on the other side of the world without leaving the comfort of their own home.

But one area which has traditionally relied on physical presence has been exercise. You have to go the gym to get fit, right? Not any longer. This status quo is being disrupted by technologies such as WebRTC and embedded communications, where real-time video makes working out from home not only possible, but also personalized, effective and enjoyable.

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