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medical consult via mobile
Dmitry PotetenkoApril 20, 20236 min read

Video Streaming in eHealth: A Guide to Staying Ahead in the Competitive Industry

Video streaming has become an essential component of almost any eHealth solution due to its numerous benefits. 

Firstly, it enables healthcare providers to offer remote consultations, which is especially beneficial for patients who are unable to travel to healthcare facilities or live in remote areas. Providers can offer consultations outside of traditional office hours, improving access to care and health outcomes for patients.

Secondly, video consultations allow for more timely and effective care, resulting in improved health outcomes and lower costs for healthcare providers, insurance companies, and patients. By reducing the need for travel, video conferencing is a cost-effective solution that can also reduce the cost of healthcare services.

Thirdly, video conferencing enhances care coordination between healthcare providers, which ultimately improves patient outcomes. A patient's primary care physician can easily consult with other healthcare professionals while interacting with the patient, simply by adding a new video conferencing participant to discuss treatment options.

Finally, video conferencing fosters trust between healthcare providers and patients, increasing patient satisfaction. Patients may feel more comfortable discussing sensitive health issues in the privacy of their own homes and may be more likely to follow through with treatment plans when they feel more connected to their healthcare providers. Video consultations provide a convenient and flexible way to receive healthcare services, resulting in greater patient satisfaction.

Despite the abundance of video streaming solutions available in the market, it's crucial to keep up with technological advancements and continually improve products to remain competitive.

What are the must-have requirements for a modern video conferencing solution for eHealth today?

| High-quality video and audio
One of the most crucial aspects of a modern video conferencing solution for eHealth is high-quality video and audio. This is important to ensure that healthcare professionals can accurately assess patients' conditions and communicate effectively. However, it can be challenging to maintain stable and high-quality video communication, especially when dealing with low bandwidth and client hardware.

There are two technological approaches to address this issue. The first one is to automatically adjust the quality of video and audio for each participant, depending on their available bandwidth. However, this approach has a significant disadvantage as it results in a different picture for each participant. A newer technology, offered by Eyeson for example, uses only one single stream to transmit high-quality video and audio without freezing, requiring two or more times less bandwidth to achieve the same quality.

| Secure access
Another critical aspect of a modern video conferencing solution for eHealth is secure access. It's important to ensure that only authorized healthcare providers and patients can access the consultation, which is crucial in protecting patients' sensitive health information.

When it comes to data security requirements in medicine, they are the highest. Therefore, it's not recommended to use open-source solutions or third-party non-specialized solutions that are not integrated into the system and work from a public cloud. Such solutions create a high risk of data loss and don't meet today's highest security requirements.

To meet the modern level of telemedicine security, there's no need for pre-installed software. All communication takes place in the client's trusted cloud (often in a private one), and the meeting server only starts for the meeting. This helps to ensure the highest level of security for patient information.

| Patient data integration
Patient data integration is now the de facto standard for leading industry solutions. By integrating patient data, healthcare providers can share medical information such as EHR cards, X-rays, CT scans, ultrasound records, and even live video streams from monitoring cameras with patients. This helps healthcare professionals to explain medical conditions precisely and efficiently to patients.

Moreover, integrating patient data during telemedicine sessions enables healthcare providers to have a complete overview of a patient's medical history and current health status, enhancing the accuracy of diagnosis and treatment plans. By having access to all relevant medical information, healthcare providers can provide better and more personalized care to patients.

Video meeting with integrated data streams

Video conferencing
The video conferencing function is a critical feature of a modern telemedicine solution. It enables multiple healthcare professionals to participate in a consultation, which makes it easier to provide coordinated care to patients.

Furthermore, for a modern telemedicine solution, the possibility of unlimited expansion of video meeting participants is crucial. It allows healthcare providers to invite all the necessary medical specialists on the go to discuss treatment options, improving patient care and outcomes.

| Custom video layouts
Customizable video layouts are essential for modern telemedicine solutions for various reasons. They allow healthcare providers to personalize the interface according to their preferences, improving the user experience for both healthcare providers and patients.

Healthcare providers can choose layouts that fit their specific needs and workflows, improving efficiency and productivity. Moreover, selecting layouts that emphasize the most important information, such as patient vitals, lab results, or diagnostic images, can improve the quality of communication and decision-making.

Customizable video layouts can also be designed to accommodate the needs of patients with disabilities or those requiring specific accommodations, improving accessibility and inclusivity for all patients.

| Virtual backgrounds
Virtual backgrounds are a useful feature in modern telemedicine solutions as they help maintain patients' privacy by obscuring their backgrounds in the video stream. This feature can also help create a professional appearance for healthcare providers, particularly for those conducting telemedicine consultations from home.

| Mobile accessibility
Mobile accessibility is an important feature of modern telemedicine solutions, as it allows patients to access the video stream solution on their smartphones or tablets with just a link via email or SMS. This increases the convenience and accessibility of virtual care for patients, enabling them to access healthcare services from anywhere.

| Chat or messaging
The chat or messaging function enables real-time communication between healthcare providers and patients during the video consultation. It is a useful feature that allows for the provision of additional information, sharing of links, or addressing any questions that may arise during the consultation.

| Recording
Recording the video stream is crucial for documentation, training, and quality assurance purposes. Properly stored video data can be a valuable source of information for any telemedicine business if used effectively.

| Full integration into EHR & use of video streams as data sources
The latest trend in telemedicine is to fully integrate video streams as data sources into electronic health records (EHR). This takes the use of video streams to a new level, where they serve not only as a useful tool for doctor-patient interaction but also as a source of invaluable data for clinics and telemedicine service providers.

To achieve this integration, new technological approaches are required. This includes the ability to synchronize and integrate the data already combined and synchronized during the video stream into a single video, which can then be integrated into the EHR system.

Standard technologies used by popular video streaming platforms cannot achieve this synchronization and do not allow for the integration of video streams as data. However, some top technology platform providers, such as Eyeson, now offer full integration of video streams into the EHR system as complete video data, providing unique business value for telehealth providers and great benefits for patients. This is because all participants in the video stream see an identical image that already contains all supplementary medical data, making it fully synchronized and ready for integration.

Video streaming has become an essential component of almost any eHealth solution due to its numerous benefits, including improved access to care, timely and effective care, enhanced care coordination, and increased patient satisfaction. However, to stay competitive in the industry, it's crucial to have a modern video conferencing solution that meets specific requirements. By implementing a modern telemedicine solution that meets these requirements, healthcare providers can improve the quality and accessibility of virtual care, ultimately leading to better health outcomes for patients.