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Vidyo Provides Insight into APIs and Telehealth

By Alicia Young
July 15, 2016

Vidyo has become the global leader in video collaboration by changing the way people connect. Their site states, “We have moved the business model for video conferencing beyond expensive legacy hardware and dedicated networks to provide a powerful, flexible and scalable software-based solution that is also affordable.” Vidyo is easy to use and manage, and its technology puts HD-quality, multipoint video communications within reach of anyone using any device, anywhere. All you need is an Internet, LTE, or 4G connection to get going. 

In preparation for the All About the API event next week in Las Vegas, TMC interviewed Vidyo’s vice president of Telehealth business development Mark Noble, who will be leading the Using APIs to Improve Clinican Adoption of Telehealth session. Mark works closely with customers and partners to help them lower their business and operations costs, while improving productivity and results. He also works closely with the Sales and Marketing teams on positioning, messaging and product marketing programs. The full interview with Mark is below.

What new opportunities in healthcare (for patient and provider) are being driven by the API economy?

Healthcare is an industry that has long been served by highly specialized point solutions that had very little commonality or consistency between one another. Thanks to the magic of APIs, these point solutions are beginning to link workflows together, share data between systems and enable clinicians and patients to leverage real-time communications from within the existing workflow applications to support telehealth use cases.  For example, MUSC said it was “magical” that clinicians were able to connect with patients for telehealth consults without having to leave Epic thanks to the integration of Vidyo into both the clinician and patient portals via the VidyoWorksTM APIs.

What specific areas of healthcare are being significantly impacted by API development and in what ways is it tangibly benefitting the industry?

Good healthcare is all about optimal workflow and on-demand clinician access to data and specialists so that they can deliver the best possible care to every patient.  APIs have broken down the boundaries for clinicians accessing critical patient data between disparate systems and have made telehealth both highly accessible and user friendly, driving unprecedented levels of adoption. Telehealth had been around for decades but hadn’t taken off until the communication became an integrated component of existing workflow tools, eliminating the need for the clinician to learn new technology to be successful. This has also had significant financial implications for the healthcare industry as telehealth is one of the core technologies that care providers will depend upon to remain economically viable in the new world of pay-for-performance.

Discuss why APIs are poised to revolutionize the EHR industry?

EHRs had long been islands of patient data, creating limited access to critical patient data or the ability to add data by third party solution providers.  Thanks to the widespread adoption of APIs, the EHR has grown from simply being a data repository to becoming the workflow hub for the healthcare system.  Now most third party solutions integrate meaningfully with the EHR, keeping patient records current and providing the critical data that may be necessary to properly diagnose and treat a patient.  The largest EHR vendors like Epic and Cerner— in addition to specialty solutions like Philips for tele-ICU, GetWellNetwork for Interactive Patient Care, ViTel Net for clinical referrals and American Well for urgent care encounters— are all leveraging the VidyoWorks APIs to add high-quality video communication into telehealth workflows. As a result, it has become easier than ever to connect clinicians and patients across the care continuum all without the clinician ever having to leave the EHR.

What is the major challenges API developers face in the healthcare industry? 

The major challenge that API developers face in the healthcare industry is inconsistency and lack of standardization in APIs as well as the quality of the solution/ service that supports the API call.  In communications for telehealth, for example, there is a significant difference between the performance and quality that can be expected from a non-adaptive video codec technology and architecture, which is susceptible to failure at just a couple percent packet loss, versus the dynamically adaptive solution Vidyo delivers that can sustain 20 percent packet loss and beyond while still delivering a high quality experience.  That’s why API developers should seek experts in the field of the solution they are looking to integrate to help educate and guide them.

Is API security more challenging than securing other applications, hardware and networks, especially for healthcare?

If the APIs and underlying web services are designed for secured access, then API security should be no greater a challenge than security for the application itself.

How often are APIs changed or updated?  How is this accomplished while ensuring minimal disruption to patients and physicians? 

APIs have to be managed like any other product with appropriate lifecycle milestones and good communications between the API provider and its development partners. If processes are in place and properly communicated, solutions should be kept up to date and the transitions should be seamless from the patient and physician perspectives.

How will APIs help drive the exchange of information through web-based tools, specifically those on mobile devices, smartphones and tablets (and why is this important in the healthcare industry)?

mHealth has become a critical tool to support greater clinician efficiency.  Delivering data and experts directly to a clinician’s smart phone or tablet helps them remain productive while in transit from one patient to the next.  APIs support the delivery of patient data and real-time communications within existing mobile apps and workflows.  For example, Airstrip, which provides streaming near real-time clinical decision support directly to a clinician’s mobile device, is leveraging the VidyoWorks APIs to Vidyo-enable their mobile app for care team collaboration.  This way a clinician can communicate a response or initiate a discussion on the data he or she observes in the patient waveform with a tap of a tile.

Why should attendees at All About the API make sure to attend your session/booth? 

Attendees at All About the API should come by Vidyo booth 413 to take advantage of our 11+ years of experience in integrating enterprise class video communication and conferencing into third party partner solutions via our proven and widely deployed APIs.

Anything else we should address? 

The VidyoWorks platform and APIs have been chosen by some of the largest names in healthcare in recognition of the fact that quality and performance matter when patient health is on the line.  The massive scalability of Vidyo’s architecture lends itself perfectly to home health monitoring applications where the potential number of patients to be cared for could be in the millions.

It’s sure to be a great session. All About The API is taking place at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas from July 19-21. There is still time to register if you’re interested!

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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