What is Telehealth?
Using telecommunication technology and electronic information, Telehealth is a cost-effective way to allow healthcare providers to care for patients remotely while increasing patient engagement.
Telehealth should always be conducted through video platform that enables HIPAA-compliance that offers additional features such as screen-sharing, chat messaging, and tools to increase accessibility. To access Telehealth, a patient requires a smartphone, internet-connected laptop or another compatible device.
Why is Telehealth Technology Important?
By making the healthcare industry safer and more equitable, Telehealth technology is transforming the industry. Here are a few examples:
- The Pandemic - Telehealth has been instrumental in guaranteeing the continued provision of medical services during the pandemic by providing a technological bridge between patients, physicians, and the health care system. Through its ability to connect patients and health care professionals remotely, Telehealth has reduced overcrowding in emergency rooms, transformed mental health care, and provided access to people in underserved communities, offering a lifeline during a global health crisis.
- Rural Communities - Telehealth is critical in helping to fill the shortage of medical care in remote areas where people have low or no access to care. By giving patients access to a wide range of specialists while avoiding long travel times, Telehealth expands the breadth of services available to deliver better health care for rural areas.
Types of Telehealth Technology
Although there are many different types of Telehealth, the following are the most commonly deployed.
- Real-time Audio/Video Encounters or Synchronous Telehealth - Including any video call or live chat software, Synchronous Telehealth enables a healthcare provider to communicate with a patient in real-time using a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or other mobile devices such as a smartphone.
- Remote Patient Monitoring - Usually recommended for patients with chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma, and cardiovascular illnesses.
- Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) - RPM uses technological devices to monitor a patient’s condition and vital signs while reducing treatment costs.
- Store-and-Forward or Asynchronous Telehealth - Especially useful in remote communities where accessing specialists can be challenging, Store-and-Forward allows a client’s or patient’s data to be collected and uploaded to a secure website, to be retrieved later by other offsite members of the health care team.
- Mobile Health - Also referred to as ‘mHealth’, mobile health uses smartphones, tablets, and smart wearables to monitor factors such as pulse rate, heart rate, and blood sugar levels. MHealth can be useful for specific health conditions that require the continuous collection of personal data or to encourage healthier behaviors such as meditation, exercise, and sleep.
Benefits of Telehealth Technology for Patients & Healthcare Providers
Telehealth can reduce the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19, by permitting providers to see patients remotely during the pandemic. When life returns to normal, Telehealth will continue to benefit both the medical community and their patients by improving access, streamlining care, and reducing costs.
The Importance of Patient Security Cybersecurity in Healthcare
The rapid growth and adaptation of Telehealth and Telehealth programs have led to security issues. Some platforms have experienced breaches involving confidential patient information. When a platform is compromised, patients can lose control of the collection, usage, and sharing of their personal health information. This violation of their privacy can result in a loss of faith in both their healthcare providers, as well as in Telehealth technology. However, not all platforms are created equal. BlueJeans’ has implemented industry-wide protections and security protocols. Therefore, it's important to do your research before choosing the one you want to use.
Video Conferencing Platforms for HIPAA Compliance
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is designed to reduce healthcare fraud and abuse by setting industry-wide standards for health care information. HIPAA requires that providers integrate encryption and other safeguards into all patient interactions. Offering leading-edge protection settings, BlueJeans’ meets HIPAA requirements in addition to having a number of other critical security features.
BlueJeans is committed to delivering a convenient, personalized Telehealth video conferencing experience from any device, while enabling HIPAA-compliance. Here are some of the ways we do it:
- Best-in-Class Usability - For successful Telehealth video visits, ease of use is essential. BlueJeans video conferencing prioritizes usability and accessibility for both patients and providers making joining experience seamless. Patients can join from desktop, mobile or supported browsers and from any device they are most comfortable with.
- Best-in-Class Security - BlueJeans is proud to meet all applicable requirements under the Security Rule including for the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of protected health information. All conversations are kept secure with Restricted Meetings, and content in transit is encrypted using AES-256 GCM. Additionally, meeting passwords, locked meetings, and enterprise-grade encryption enable covered entities to remain HIPAA-compliant.
- Best-in-Class Sound Quality - When it comes to health care, clarity of information is of the utmost importance. BlueJeans’ Dolby Voice technology suppresses background noise while maintaining consistent volume levels across soft and loud talkers to make sure nothing is missed or misunderstood. Our spatial audio makes it easier to focus on the content of the conversation by presenting each person’s voice from a distinct location, so everyone hears as if they were together in the same room regardless of their location or device.
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