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December 04, 2013

WebRTC for Healthcare Website Solutions

A browser with a plugin-free real-time communications (RTC) solution that is open source provides limitless possibilities for organizations to implement high-quality communications without compatibility issues. WebRTC enables audio and video communications with reduced audio and video latency, allowing website telephony solutions to be integrated so users can carry a more natural conversation. WebRTC Strategies, a consulting firm that assists large and medium sized businesses to leverage WebRTC technology, recently highlighted the merits of telephony solutions for the healthcare industry using WebRTC.

The first point highlighted is the cost associated with premises-based solutions and cloud-based integration of WebRTC-to-SIP trunk connected to the legacy voice switch. A cloud-based solution can be installed for less than $10,000 and $1,000 to $2,000 of monthly recurring fees for a healthcare enterprise with less than 2000 employees, while a premises-based solution can run as high as $100,000 with monthly fees of $2,000 to $3,000.

Although a WebRTC solution is much cheaper, it doesn't limit the communications solutions it provides. With an integration platform that enables end-to-end encrypted and authenticated communications, WebRTC allows smartphones and landlines to become answering points for calls that have been initiated through a website. Because browsers are free, there's no cost for licensing of propriety software for endpoints, giving organizations a scalable solution that is affordable.

Using this technology, employees can access voice communication with their smart mobile devices or personal computers from anywhere, allowing telecommuting opportunities and other services.

Patients that make calls from the website can be routed to a representative based on the page they are visiting using the legacy switch or to the employees mobile interface, or both. Additionally, it supports video communications, which can be used for patient consultation, in-home care or training staff.

Some of the other options available with web site telephony include:

  • Clinicians and patient can have access to the same information simultaneously to go over test results, reports, and discuss invoices and bills from their patient collaboration interface from their device of choice.
  • Bluetooth sensor devices can be integrated into a custom-built WebRTC app that can display telemetry results on the communications’ Web page. Real-time communications of this telemetry can be monitored persistently or on a scheduled basis supporting alarm-based session initiation. 
  • Patients can communicate with administrators to set, modify or get information about appointments from their patient collaboration interface from their device of choice. 
  • Billable consultations can be performed with the use of web site telephony or video communications.
  • Session recording can be implemented to maintain a record of events.

Using this platform, healthcare organizations will be able to save a noticeable amount in capital and operating expenses by making it easier and more precise to communicate with all interested parties. This translates into actionable information that is more accurate, giving decision makers the tools they need to make the right choice thereby improving patient care and saving money.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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