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January 23, 2014

How WebRTC Could Transform the Future of Healthcare

The healthcare industry is facing extraordinary challenges, and although folks in Washington are trying their best to improve the system, it seems like they will always fall short of meeting the challenge. With more than 70 years of State of the Union addresses by presidents promising to improve the nation's health plan, their good intentions has resulted in a health budget that currently stands at almost $3 trillion annually. While there is no one panacea that will solve what ails the system, technology seems to be the one reliable resource care providers and patients are hedging their bets on. Telemedicine, the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another, holds many promises if it is made widely available.

By delivering care using PCs, smartphones and tablets, the limited resources of healthcare professionals can be used more efficiently. The delivery of rich content such as audio and video generally requires plugins or propriety applications that require installation on the device. This can greatly limit the delivery of telemedicine services.

Having a platform with an open-source platform that doesn't require an installation and can work on a browser can solve many of the issues related to compatibility across devices and operating systems. With WebRTC (Web real-time communications), healthcare providers can access a platform with unlimited potential when it comes to reaching their patients.

Embedding a native communications capability into standard Web browsers eliminates the barriers between two endpoints. An instant communication with high-quality live video, audio and messaging is possible with this platform, opening a free or low-cost communications solution.

With WebRTC and telemedicine healthcare professionals can:

  • Monitor patients remotely and  collect data using telehealth for blood glucose, vital signs and heart ECG
  • Consult patients to provide a correct diagnosis 
  • Diagnose images and have them reviewed by experts in other states or countries
  • Improve access to underserved communities with specialists
  • More efficiently use resources and thus reduce the cost of healthcare

One company that is effectively using WebRTC is Net Medical Xpress and its recently released application, which lets organizations set up users, groups and subgroups with real time, face-to-face Web-based connections, simplifying doctor-patient and hospital communications.

"This is clearly a major breakthrough development for the healthcare industry. There is currently no other web based HIPAA compliant communications system available with anywhere near the capabilities of our system," said CEO Dick Govatski.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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