Using Google Duo for Telemedicine

Feature Release | 4 min read | July 17, 2020

Did you know that you can use common video calling applications for telemedicine appointments? You don’t have to purchase new equipment, learn new programs, or train staff on how to use a new application or EMR feature. The best part is that, even after the public health crisis is over and HIPAA is enforced again, you can still use those applications securely. SimpleVisit’s telemedicine service leverages common video calling applications, like Google Duo, for remote healthcare appointments.

Benefits of using SimpleVisit to bridge Google Duo:
  • Patients in areas with a lower availability of broadband or access to technology are likely to still have a smartphone and access to at least one native video calling app, regardless of what carrier they have.
  • Patients have a higher chance of remaining compliant with their medical treatment plans when you make it easier for them to access their providers – the culture of convenience is strong these days, and the more you can meet them where they are, the more likely they will be to seek care.
  • Providers who are not as comfortable with the more complex telemedicine technology offerings available will still be able to complete a video visit – as with patients, most everyone has a device with a video calling app already installed.

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Google Duo is a video chat mobile app developed by Google, available on Android, iOS, and Chrome for Desktop. Google Duo lets users make video calls in high definition; optimized for low-bandwidth networks. End-to-end encryption is enabled by default. Duo is based on phone numbers, allowing users to call someone from their contact list. Google Duo comes pre-installed on most Android smartphones, and if not, it’s easily downloadable from the Google Play Store.

Android & Chrome Browser Users:

  • Google Duo is ranked #19 on Google Play Store for Communication Apps
  • It has been downloaded over 1 billion times on the Google Play store and has 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 5 million reviews. This is a higher rating than has been given to Skype, WhatsApp and Google Meet.

Apple Users:

  • Google Duo is ranked #6 in Social Networking Apps in the Apple Store, surpassing Hangouts, Skype, Zoom and Meet.
  • It has a 4.7 star rating from almost 8,000 reviews

There is a high probability that many of your patients will already be using and comfortable with this app. How can you use it for telemedicine:

A primary care physician needs to see an existing patient to discuss their recent lab results.

A pediatrician gets a call from a parent for a same day appointment to look at their toddler’s red, crusty eye.

A sleep medicine doctor needs to check in with their patient who has just completed their first month of trialing a CPAP to treat their obstructive sleep apnea.

A dermatologist requests an urgent appointment to look at a reaction to an eczema cream prescribed to a patient who sent them an online portal message regarding the change in their skin around the area it was applied to.

These providers using SimpleVisit can simply confirm the appointment time and contact preference of their patient. The patient will receive a video call via Google Duo from a live telemedicine receptionist before being connected to a healthcare provider using a completely different video application (Teams, Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, etc). 

SimpleVisit will bridge the Google Duo call with the other party. Once they have ensured that the technology on both sides is working correctly, they will step out and leave the provider and patient on their respective platforms in a private, virtual, HIPAA compliant room to complete the rest of their appointment. If you get disconnected, simply contact the SimpleVisit office to reconnect immediately, and when you are finished, just hang up as you would any other call. 

Video visits have a wide array of uses in the medical world. Whatever you use them for as a provider, your patients want them for only a few reasons – the chiefest of which is the convenience to seek care wherever and whenever they need it. Offering or using a common video calling application like Google Duo will only increase the convenience of telemedicine services for your patients and enhance the benefit of your telemedicine program to your practice.

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To find out more about using Google Duo for telemedicine, click here.
To learn about other video calling apps compatible with the SimpleVisit service, click here.
Want to know more about how SimpleVisit can help you build your telemedicine program today? Fill out our Buyer’s Guide or Schedule a Demo Call.

 

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