For those not familiar with South by Southwest (SXSW), it's a major and growing convention that's gone from music festival to massive technology show, video game conference and, yes, music festival. Tokbox recently provided an object lesson of just how much SXSW has grown over the years by bringing its Web-based real time communications (WebRTC) based Telehealth Solution to the event.
Tokbox is set to show this solution as part of the SXSW Interactive SX Health & MedTech Expo, and will in turn show off how adding WebRTC communications to healthcare can really open up some new opportunities in the field. Tokbox is perhaps best known for the OpenTok platform, a system that allows currently-existing mobile apps and websites to quickly add new communications options, like voice and video, along with screen sharing and others. OpenTok can be adapted to most any need, from the simplest person-to-person chat to a large-scale event involving several participants. TokBox puts this tool to work in several places, and now with a telehealth connection, it gives physicians and similar healthcare providers the option to communicate remotely with patients.
With telehealth revenues expected to gain 45 percent this year, reaching a combined total of $585 million just by the end of 2016, it's easy to see why more firms would look for a stake in this market. Rising healthcare costs are prompting new ways to look at healthcare solutions, and telehealth is proving to be a welcome addition to many lineups. With HIPAA-compliance offering necessary security, and bandwidth starting to improve, the end result should be a field where telehealth becomes useful and even profitable.
Scott Lomond, CEO of TokBox, commented “The TokBox Telehealth Solution will make it even more accessible for health and fitness companies to embed real-time communications to build engaging, interactive and potentially life changing applications. We're proud to showcase our technology at a landmark event that is driving innovation in healthcare.”
With Tokbox exhibiting at SXSW, it illustrates clearly that this isn't just a music festival any more, and shows the incredible diversity of the event. More than that, however, it also shows us the opportunities being posed by telehealth options. Not only do we now have the capability to bring doctors in most any specialty to just about anywhere they may be needed, but we also have the capability to turn just about any home into a hospital. That's going to do a number on healthcare costs, and given the prices of insurance these days—not to mention the prices of healthcare coverage—reducing costs is looking like a great idea.
While TokBox's system may not mean a price cut on our health insurance bills by itself, it's the start of something particularly impressive that may yield a great return down the line. Soon, homes may be hospital rooms of a sort, and that could mean better service and better prices as well.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson