The COVID-19 pandemic permanently increased the demand for telehealth consultations. To adapt to the new demand, developers working on telehealth solutions must meet the needs and expectations of users.
Optimizing the video conferencing experience in telehealth requires security, high-quality audio, network resilience, and nuisance suppression, which we’ll be discovering and learning more about in this blog post. These features help create a telehealth experience that feels as efficient, comfortable, and private as a doctor’s office.
1. Keep Your Patient Data Secure
Security is a significant concern in the telehealth space: over a third of doctors have a hard time trusting telehealth video platforms due to their fear of data breaches. And the fear is completely justified, considering over 80% of physicians have already experienced cyberattacks.
It’s why the first priority of telehealth companies should be to make their platform as secure as possible. At a minimum, your solution needs to be compliant with all relevant regulations, which include:
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): The regulation outlines a set of rules companies must apply to protect healthcare and patient data. These rules are divided into three different categories – privacy, security, and breach notification.
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): This set of security guidelines will concern any companies with users across EU states to avoid the misuse of patient data across EU states.
- SOC-2: SOC-2 defines the criteria for managing user data across five aspects – security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. The American Institute of CPAs developed it to ensure service providers protect the interests and privacy of its users.
The good news is that building your telehealth platform with Dolby.io Interactivity APIs keeps it secure and encrypted with minimal work on your end to save you time – all it takes is just a few lines of code and you’re good to go! In addition, our APIs are all HIPAA, GDPR, and jurisdictionally compliant for safe communication between doctors and patients.
“Dolby.io APIs provided us the ability to isolate the video conference IDs,” says Arul Venkatachalam, CTO at MediGuru. “We can clearly control who can join, and we can control how long a particular session can remain open. So, HIPAA compliance was made a lot easier.”
2. Reduce Voice Overlap and Listener Fatigue for Natural Talk
Part of developing a better doctor-patient relationship via telehealth is to make the conversation feel natural and replicate real-life, which isn’t easy to do when you’re behind a screen.
A common issue that arises during video conference calls is participants talking over each other. It creates awkward friction in the conversation, where each person has to stop and then ask the other person to continue with what they’re saying simultaneously.
That’s where spatial audio comes in. With the Dolby.io spatial audio feature, you can automatically separate overlapping voices to create a conversation that flows more naturally. It also reduces listener fatigue and makes doctor-patient calls more productive.
“On the technical side, we were excited about Dolby.io’s superior call quality with HD video and sound.” Says Henrik Molin, CEO at Physitrack. “[It was] a robust and scalable solution that had the flexibility we were looking for.”
Need an example of what that looks like in action? Take a look at our video showcasing the Dolby.io spatial audio capabilities:
3. Use Network Resilience to Improve Communication
Maintaining high audio quality in challenging network conditions is difficult and frustrating. It’s especially the case if you have patients in rural or low-income areas with no access to a fast internet connection.
Dolby.io’s advanced network resilience allows doctors to retain high-quality audio during their patient calls, even when the internet connection isn’t the best. That way, even if the video starts glitching, you can maintain clear communication with patients.
There are many reasons why network resilience is so vital to telehealth. For example, keeping the audio connection even if the video glitches ensures patients keep their appointment slots and clinician’s schedules aren’t thrown off trying to reconnect.
After all, a doctor’s time is precious, with only a few minutes allotted to each patient, so they must make it count. Network resilience ensures the quality of a patient’s healthcare doesn’t depend on the quality of their Wi-Fi.
4. Get Rid of Distractions With Nuisance Suppression and Voice Processing
Distracting elements such as people talking in the background can get in the way of a quality telehealth experience. Any nuisance that interrupts a doctor-patient call makes the consultation frustrating and less productive for everyone.
Let’s say a patient is in the middle of explaining an issue, but there’s noise from construction outside interfering with the call. As a result, the doctor will either have to frequently re-ask the patient what they said or, worse – cancel and reschedule the appointment.
Something also interesting to note about background noise is it can be detrimental to your user’s health, which goes against the purpose of building a telehealth solution. According to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, background noise increases the brain’s cortisol and stress levels.
That’s why Dolby.io Interactivity APIs come with advanced suppression technology that eliminates distractions such as keyword typing or noise in the background of patient calls. It’s effective even when the patient is jumping on the call from a crowded environment.
Dolby.io Interactivity APIs also provide telehealth companies with voice processing capabilities. For example, a voice activity detector identifies when people are talking to block out any other sound during the call. With less distracting nuisances in the way, doctors can put their focus on their patients.
Optimize the Telehealth Video Experience With Dolby.io Interactivity APIs
Building a telehealth platform that meets the expectations of users is hard work. By adopting all the listed features, you can create a telehealth product that not only delivers a safe and engaging experience but also gives a competitive advantage over others in the industry.
Thankfully, it’s possible to facilitate the process of building all these features when you’re using an API solution like Dolby.io. Whether it’s to make your telehealth platform security-compliant or to optimize the audio of your solution, Dolby.io has an API for you. Instead of building out all these features from scratch, you can use the Dolby.io Interactivity APIs to save yourself time and resources.