Doctor-Patient communication with Q-consultation
Telemedicine has been around for quite some time, but until recently, it was just one of the options, one of the ways to provide medical services to remote or underdeveloped regions or to cater to patients for whom a visit to a doctor’s office was too difficult or time-consuming. The Covid-19 pandemic flipped the way of the world upside down changing the usual medical concepts and pushing telemedicine into the spotlight.
In 2021, remote medical service is no longer just one of the options. In the world where “keep the distance”, “minimize contacts”, and “stay at home” became the most important rules of everyday life, the demand for remote and online services grew dramatically. With medicine and healthcare, this demand is even more acute, as people seek medical services while trying to stay away from hospitals and clinics.
In addition, many hospitals have closed certain areas of their service either to free the facilities and the personnel to care for Covid-19 patients or to minimize contacts and prevent further spread of the virus. As a result, lots of patients resort to remote medical services to get professional consultations without the risk of contracting the coronavirus.
Challenges of remote medical services
The corona-crisis has created a sharp increase in demand for quality communication software that can serve the needs of both clinics and patients in providing remote medical services. Under the conditions of restricted hospital visits, online medical consultations can maintain the medical service availability and accessibility for patients.
However, not every communication tool or private chatting app can be used to set up a telemedical consulting service. The very nature of the industry sets high standards and poses steep requirements to any tools that are approved for use in providing telemedicine services.
The data that is stored and exchanged in healthcare belongs to the category of the most sensitive. Clinics, hospitals, practicing doctors store and process huge amounts of patients’ personal data that has to be protected at the highest level possible.
In the US, the privacy of health-related information is protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA-compliance has become a standard and a requirement to all software products used in providing medical services. Among others, HIPAA sets the rules for electronic storage, transmission, and disclosure of healthcare-related data, and these rules must be met by any software tool approved for use as a telemedicine product.
Other features that should be present in a telemedicine software solution include:
- High performance and availability. For patients, being able to contact a medical professional as soon as possible may be critical. Therefore, a healthcare app should aim for the best performance.
- Multiple communication options. To cover all potential needs of patients, a healthcare app should support a text chat, audio and video calls, and file sharing.
- Secure data storage. A patient’s medical history is usually a large volume of data that should be stored in a place that is, on the one hand, easily accessible and, on the other hand, highly secure.
- Optional payment service integration. To enable patients’ payments to doctors and medical institutions, a healthcare app needs to include a secure and reliable payment gateway, preferably, by a reputed provider.
How Q-consultation meets the current challenges
Q-consultation by QuickBlox is a telemedicine app that was created with a special focus on the main requirements of healthcare products – high performance, high usability, high security. It is designed to allow doctors to provide quick professional consultations online. For patients, the app creates a convenient communication channel with their doctor where they can get prompt advice and first assistance.
Of course, an online medical consultation app cannot – and should not – be regarded as a replacement for a personal visit. However, especially at times of quarantine and isolation, an app like Q-consultation can be the go-to solution in a number of cases:
- Consultation in mild cases of sickness where the doctor can evaluate the patient’s condition from a conversation or a video call with them.
- Quick assessment of the patient’s situation and recommendation to which doctor or hospital to apply for further treatment.
- Routine checkups for chronic patients who do not experience any deviations from their normal condition (think diabetes, chronic heart diseases, cancer patients in remission, etc.).
- Covid-19 patients that do not require hospitalization.
Q-consultation is prepared to serve doctors and patients in all cases where a prompt doctor’s advice is needed by providing the following features:
- High-performance video and audio calls
- Private chatting channels for secure doctor-patient communication
- Patients’ queue processed by nurses or other medical personnel
- File upload supporting various media types
- Intuitive user interface
- Cross-platform implementation that allows this secure messaging and calling app to run on any device that doctors or patients have in their possession. Q-consultation has a web version that runs in multiple browsers as well as native iOS and Android apps.
- Extensive customization and localization
- High security of the communication channels and data storages
- GDPR and HIPAA compliance of the chat app and the cloud services it uses to store and process the sensitive healthcare-related data. Q-consultation uses encrypted messaging to prevent any unauthorized disclosure.
An app that was designed with a focus on security and compliance to the governing standards of the healthcare industry will build trust and confidence in patients and become their channel of communication with their doctors. By offering online medical consultations, you will bring healthcare to patients who may be otherwise affected by the pandemic-related restrictions.
Q-consultation implementation in your healthcare service
Q-consultation is available as a standalone web app that can be used out-of-the-box or customized to fit your requirements. In addition. QuickBlox offers Q-consultation as a white-label solution suitable for custom branding. This way, you are getting a secure messaging and calling app in your unique branding that matches the other services you offer to customers.
For more information on how to start providing quality telemedicine services with a secure messaging software product, contact the QuickBlox team.