Using Skype for telehealth? Maybe you should rethink it.
Many people can’t access the health care they need. Individuals in rural areas may be asked to travel hours to their nearest medical provider while individuals in urban areas may be unable to secure transportation or forced to miss work for a medical appointment.
For these reasons and many others, doctors are beginning to close gaps in access with telehealth. The technology behind telehealth is WebRTC, which allows us to integrate video, audio, and data in order to communicate in real-time regardless of the distance between individuals. This means that a doctor and patient can use this technology to engage in a live medical appointment without having to travel.
Thanks to WebRTC, people in rural areas don’t need to drive for hours and people in urban areas don’t need to worry about transportation or missing work when they need to see their doctor.
The bad news, however, is that many doctors are using the wrong platforms like skype for telehealth.
When you think of WebRTC, you probably think of platforms like Skype, FaceTime, and Google Meet. While these video conferencing solutions are great for social gatherings, they don’t work well in the medical field.
Social platforms like Skype are not HIPAA-compliant.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was designed to ensure data privacy and protect patient health information. Platforms that are HIPAA-compliant are encrypted, secure, and have measures in place to prevent security breaches. Skype is not HIPAA-compliant, so if you use it to deliver telehealth, you risk compromising your patients’ privacy and personal health information.
Additionally, social platforms don’t offer features that would help in a medical setting, such as appointment scheduling, secure file-sharing, and private note-taking.
Medical professionals move at a fast pace. They don’t have time to use multiple platforms for various tasks; they need a single platform that integrates several features to hold all of their necessary information in one place. Social applications like Skype don’t allow users to schedule appointments, share files securely, or exchange private messages without the risk of a security breach.
Our world is shifting towards telehealth to fill gaps in accessing necessary health care. If you’re looking for a telehealth platform to provide accessible health care for your patients, be sure to choose one that is HIPAA-compliant and that includes features that allow you to handle multiple needs in one place.