Consumerization of Legacy Telemedicine Platforms

Telemedicine has been around longer than most people think.  Several health organizations have been leading the way for nearly two decades by adapting business class teleconferencing for healthcare. The typical implementation previously included a lot of hardware and proprietary platforms offered by Polycom or Cisco.

These solutions are designed to facilitate point-to-point telemedicine sessions between facilities. Telehealth leaders solved access challenges in rural areas by extending specialists to remote health centers and physician’s offices.  In some cases, this meant deploying thousands of endpoints through expensive telemedicine carts along with servers designed to run SIP protocols to achieve a closed-loop network.

With millions invested, these platforms work well for point-to-point initiatives, but consumer technology has since advanced to place incredible power in laptops and cell phones.  Today people are conducting video conferencing sessions between cell phones or other devices. There are a multitude of consumer-based teleconferencing solutions:

  • Skype
  • Facetime
  • Google Hangouts
  • Facebook Portal
  • Google Home Hub
  • Amazon’s Echo Show

If healthcare is going to successfully solve access challenges and reduce patient leakage, it will require merging Cisco or Polycom SIP projects with consumer enabled technology.  This involves directly integrating SIP endpoints with web-based applications like VisuWell Telemedicine. The final consumer and patient-centric infrastructure is streamlined, removing failure points to create a smooth patient experience.

Why integrate versus update?

Legacy SIP projects required a significant investment in hardware acquisition and training, and many of these solutions were only implemented within the last 3 to 5 years – before web applications were widely adopted for enterprise HIPAA compliant telemedicine.  However, SIP platforms that are in use still serve their intended purpose of connecting specialists to underserved areas. Instead of throwing out thousands or millions of dollars in Cisco or Polycom endpoints, it is more cost effective to extend the functionality of existing endpoints by integrating them with a modern virtual care platform that securely connects to patients on any device.

Move beyond point-to-point or facility-to-facility solutions to consumer-facing telemedicine with Visuwell. Learn more about VisuWell’s SIP Consumerization Solutions.