Live video proven to be an effective channel for healthcare



By Scott Lomond, CEO, TokBox

TokBox announced in October the results of the live video, real-time communications company’s inaugural “Live Video Maturity Study.” The study measures evolution of live video since 2012 across a range of industries, including healthcare. Sixty percent of people surveyed in 2017 have used or are likely to use live video to chat with a doctor about a non-emergency condition such as prescription renewal. The most popular use cases were remote doctor consultations; virtual mental health support and counseling; medical imaging collaboration; and on-demand wellness and fitness.

Live video has proven an effective channel for healthcare because of its potential to provide not only more cost-effective care, but wider access and better patient outcomes. In fact, many states so strongly recognize the value in this model they are requiring insurance companies to reimburse for telemedicine treatment.

Yet when we evaluated healthcare against other industries, we found it less mature than sectors like education because of two significant challenges to adoption: compliance and privacy. The fact that healthcare is a highly regulated environment isn’t changing anytime soon, and so organizations will have to tackle these challenges in order to reap the benefits of live video.

Moving forward, live video should be seen simply as another digital format, with the same security needs as every other healthcare digital initiative that includes private patient information. Video needs solid encryption in order to protect patient privacy, just like patient portals or physician/patient communications. This level of security is possible, as evidenced by the hundreds of HIPAA compliant live video applications in the market today.

Currently, the most popular use cases for live video are around remote health consultations, mental health support and medical imaging. In the future, I believe the most impactful use cases will combine the power of Artificial Intelligence with live video. Imagine a live video exam where AI, trained using thousands of skin images, can detect melanoma in real time. Or a telehealth app that can detect depression by simply analyzing the sentiment of the patient through visual and vocal cues. The possibilities are endless.