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Google Hangouts Saved My Life

Case Study, Google Hangouts, Tips

Based on a true story… The immersion of video communications in our culture has made its way into healthcare through telemedicine.  Doctors are using telemedicine applications to help patients with chronic illnesses, frequent follow-ups, special consultations and other clinical services— all of which can be challenging or expensive to obtain as an in-person visit.  A healthcare provider can now see and treat patients regardless of their location; And patients are enjoying the benefits of care delivery without the hassle of travel times and waiting rooms. These telemedicine solutions can be easy to use and in most cases, as simple as receiving a call through an existing application on a mobile device. Not too long ago, we had a situation in which Google Hangouts, already available on a smart device, helped to save a patient’s life…

A Baltimore man was recently discharged from a local hospital when he unexpectedly found himself experiencing issues standing along with shortness of breath. Unsure of what to do, his wife stood by his side weighing her options: Should she call 9-1-1 and incur an expensive bill? Drive to the hospital and likely face a long wait in the Emergency Room? Or increasingly risk her husband’s condition by waiting?  In most circumstances, those would be the only options. But not in this case. Luckily, the patient’s primary care doctor prescribed a different choice: Google Hangouts.

The life-saving solution started when the patient’s wife realized that their doctor, already being aware of her husband’s medical history, should know what was happening. She called his office for advice on next steps. Once the doctor heard the urgency of the situation, he knew that he needed to see the patient’s condition. He used his SimpleVisit service and set up an immediate telemedicine appointment to connect with his patient over video. Finding the Google-based email address on file, the SimpleVisit team video-called the wife in distress through the Hangouts application. She quickly answered the call then was bridged to her doctor who could now assess the situation and give proper direction.

In many scenarios like the one shared above, it is common for patients to panic and assume the worst. Seeing one’s doctor tends to bring a sense of calmness to an already high stress and scary situation. This is where telemedicine solutions like SimpleVisit can step in and be of service. By connecting two common video apps like Google Hangouts and FaceTime, the provider was able to conveniently diffuse the situation and give the patient the help needed in a timely fashion at a lower cost. Which ultimately, saved his life.

Telemedicine for remote care can be a safe and cost-effective solution for many practices. Using video applications like FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and Skype for these video visits add to the convenience and positive experience.  These common apps are already accessible on all smart devices and personal computers.  Services like SimpleVisit leverage these resources to deliver a seamless telemedicine exchange, regardless of location.

Practices who add a televisit option to their offering have a competitive advantage in the market.  More patients are looking for and/or needing more convenient access to care through video visits. Implementing a telemedicine program can make good business sense. Implementing a telemedicine program using tools that everyone already possess could save a life.

About SimpleVisit

SimpleVisit is a video service which allows patients and providers to connect over the video platform of their choice. With SimpleVisit providers are able to deliver on-demand visits to patients over any device or platform they have available to them. For more information on SimpleVisit and on how we are enabling providers to host virtual visits check out

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