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January 13, 2014

GP2U Opts for WebRTC Video Conferencing

With the rising prominence of telehealth and telemedicine occurring alongside WebRTC’s own proliferation, it’s not surprising to see the two mix from time to time. Net Medical Xpress, for example, recently released an HIPAA-compliant WebRTC-enabled telemedicine solution. Meanwhile, telehealth provider GP2U has updated its iPhone app to include built-in WebRTC functionality.

According to the company’s founder, Dr. James Freeman, the new version of the app allows patients to register, book, pay, conference and order prescriptions right from their iPhone. An Android version of the app is due to hit the Google Play store shortly, but anyone using GP2U’s website can take advantage of WebRTC video right now to video conference with general practitioners and specialists.

GP2U’s video conferencing has been designed to mirror in-person doctor visits somewhat with a virtual waiting room. This makes the process much simpler for patients.

As Freeman put it in a statement: “With our virtual waiting room patients simply wait there until the doctor pops up on the screen. That's pretty easy to explain. Go to the waiting room and wait for the doctor — you don't need to explain anything much else as it all just works.”

As it stands, WebRTC is not fully supported by all Web browsers, but GP2U has found a way to make its conferencing service more accessible to even users of Internet Explorer as it will install the Chrome Frame plug-in automatically. Put simply, this allows Internet Explorer to handle features like WebRTC quite well.

For its WebRTC functionality, GP2U has decided to outsource to TokBox, a Telefonica Digital company best known for its OpenTok WebRTC platform, which received a Best in Show award at last November’s WebRTC Conference and Expo.

“One of the advantages of WebRTC over Skype is that because we are using a signalling server we're not bouncing from machine to machine trying to work out where you are,” said Freeman. “The bottom line is that it only takes a couple of seconds to connect so it’s much faster than Skype.”

Edited by Cassandra Tucker
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