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Attend Anywhere Uses WebRTC to Deliver Cystic Fibrosis eHealth Services

May 23, 2014

Information and telecommunication technology (ICT) is playing a big part in transforming the healthcare industry with digital-related services to support clinical healthcare. Today, ICT is making connected healthcare a reality; as expected, the use of ICT for health service delivery—telemedicine and telehealth, care at-a-distance—is also changing the way people think about the future of healthcare IT. In essence, through ICT, it has been possible to improve health in a number of ways, including altering the way healthcare is accessed, delivered and medical data shared.

Innovations in eHealth are gaining popularity due to largely reduced costs and wider range of advanced services that can now be provided, including care delivery through real time telehealth consultation for faster medical care. Doctors can connect and communicate through the Web or mobile tools; patients can now reach out to relevant medical specialists from virtually anywhere, at any time. The increasing use of technologies is then transforming the physician-patient relationship.

The use of ICT for eHealth has enabled healthcare professionals to collaborate and share information on patients through digital equipment; thus, enabling medical providers to better manage people’s care, health and wellbeing. Devices supporting WebRTC-enabled applications and secure data connections can allow a physician to share imaging with other specialists or give health providers the ability to treat a patient remotely. For example, a patient “can use his or her camera to show progress of a wound healing. A nurse can peer straight into a patient’s eyes in real-time, and capture that image as part of the patient’s electronic medical record (EMR),” affirms a blog post from Bita Milanian this month. Milanian is senior vice president of Marketing Communication at GENBAND.

When it comes to ICT applications in e-health for improving community healthcare services, via video consulting, recording and reporting, there is one company, in particular, that has applied the use of WebRTC to facilitate video calls from consumers to the clinicians operating the helplines: Healthdirect Australia.

While RTC is not quite yet a mature technology, one can see the direction it is going.” WebRTC, developers at Attend Anywhere, for example, “have created a connected care application that uses browsers to bring together people with cystic fibrosis around the world with specialists determined to find a cure,” the blog post explained. According to Milanian, the RTC-enabled Web platform offers the means to provide better access, improved monitoring and prolonged treatment for many remote patients who would otherwise be dependent on hospital care.

Fostering an ICT environment where WebRTC technology can expand remote telehealth care for Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients is a promising value-added provision for such users; they can have “video call access to existing health services from all over Australia and New Zealand, using [their] own video technology,” affirms Attend Anywhere (formally Global Telehealth).

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic, life-threatening disease that affects the digestive and respiratory systems. Every year, May is considered the CF awareness month. Campaigns that are sponsored by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) raise funds for future research; the focus is on providing support towards treatments and finding a cure. So how does this tie in to WebRTC? In a nutshell, this technology can help by offering telehealth solutions with the ability to monitor many medical conditions through a WebRTC gateway. It might not directly help for a cure, but it can definitely bring comfort and opportunities to affected patients.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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