VSee Update 319 – New Sound Notification

VSee api update release*updated Mar. 25 with iOS release notes

Never miss a client with VSee’s new waiting room sound notification!

Android updates TBA

All clients (Android, iPad, iPhone, Mac and Windows):

  1. Switched to new ring sound for waiting room notifications.
  2. New warning on video window when network connection is poor.

Mac only:

  1. Set default video resolution of auxiliary camera to 480p.

iPad / iPhone:

  1. Added support for iOS 8.2

- – – – -

To see if you are on the latest version of VSee

Windows  – Click the Help icon in the address book –>select “About VSee…” and see if it is the newest version. VSee will download the newest client for you (which will show as a checkmark in task tray icon). Simply restart the program to use the updated VSee.

Mac  – Click “VSee” top menu and choose “check for updates.”

Please contact VSee support team if you have any problems, questions, or suggestions!

VSee Telemedicine Video Conferencing Now Aboard the International Space Station

International Space Station ISS

“STS132 undocking iss2″ by NASA – http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/station/crew-23/hires/s132e012212.jpg. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:STS132_undocking_iss2.jpg#/media/File:STS132_undocking_iss2.jpg

VSee is honored to be selected as NASA’s official video conferencing platform aboard the International Space Station (ISS).  With VSee’s secure video chat astronauts are able to do telemedicine video conferencing, have family video chats, collaborate with scientists in real time, do projects with school children, and watch their favorite programs using their iPads and laptops.

As simple as this sounds, it turns out that NASA has had to stick with using their older generation video conferencing technology because the newer modern software-based video chat systems like Skype, Vidyo, or Zoom just aren’t able to deal with the unique challenges of space to ground communications.

Byron Smith, Senior Medical IS Engineer at Wyle explains that the relatively long delays in a round-trip satellite communication plus the regular loss of information causes many of the newer generation video technologies to work poorly or even to fail, but “then VSee came along with a new approach to handling challenged networks such as those we deal with during ISS operations.”

We’re proud that VSee’s video technology is able to meet the challenges of space communications, and that we’re able to contribute to the work being done on the Space Station :)

Check out the full press release here

Google Helpouts Shutting Down in April

Google Helpouts shutting downGoogle has announced they are shutting down Helpouts, their platform for experts to offer advice by video, on April 20. With Google Helpouts shutting down, health providers who use the service to consult with clients will have to find an alternative to Helpouts.

In the Guardian Liberty Voice, Alley Hines writes:

There were hopes of taking it into the medical community where people could consult with their doctor, nurse, or even the veterinarian. Offering the search for medical information at no charge was one way that Google promoted Helpouts.

But apparently even the lure of “free” for providers wasn’t enough get Google Helpouts off the ground. And at one point Google was even giving away free video doctor visits. The search giant’s response as to why it’s shutting down Helpouts: “unfortunately, it hasn’t grown at the pace we had expected.”

Of course, it was always a big question mark whether Helpouts would succeed among the medical community. While it got promising reviews, let’s just say Google isn’t exactly your go-to man when it comes to matters of privacy and the healthcare community is pretty strict when it comes to things like that. Google also hasn’t had a great track record when it comes to understanding the health industry – consider Google Health, its other failed attempt to get into the consumer health door.

In full disclosure, during last year’s ATA trade show, VSee even had people from the Google Helpouts team coming over to get a demo of the VSee virtual waiting room in order to understand how we structured our simple telemedicine workflow.

As a health expert, you need a video solution that matches your unique requirements. Helpouts may have been a great way to get found online, but it’s definitely not the best way to show that you’re serious about a patient’s privacy. In any case, don’t rely on a generic product built for the masses. Choose VSee – it’s 100 percent HIPAA-secure and specifically designed for telemedicine.

New VSee Windows Release 223 – Better App Share, Better Chat

VSee api update releaseUpdated 3/19/2015 – all clients now released. Please see full change list and version numbers below.

For better app sharing over poor networks and a cleaner chat UI, please update your VSee to

All clients (Android, iPad, iPhone, Mac and Windows):

1. Improved app sharing performance when a callee’s network is poor.
2. Fixed problem with starting a meeting when logged in on multiple devices.
3. Fixed problem where name occasionally does not show on various UI.
4. Fixed group chat problem where username appears twice after a crash and restart.

Windows only:

  1. Chat window improvements:
    • Added automatic text wrapping.
    • Added bubble effect for chat messages.
    • Bring chat window to foreground when clicking on chat notification.
  2. Simpler UI for adding and switching out auxiliary cameras.
  3. New default video resolution for auxiliary camera at 480p.

Mac only:

  1. Sync group chat messages across devices.
  2. Fixed window tiling issue on OS X Yosemite
  3. Fixed recording for Mac App Store version.
  4. Added recording icon and status for remote video window.
  5. Fixed crashes on quit

iPad and iPhone:

  1. Improved chat history:
    1. Save chat messages upon receipt.
    2. Split chat sessions after an idle time of more than 30 minutes.
    3. Keep 1-on-1 chat view in unloaded state for 30 minutes after chat box has been closed
    4. Fixed issue where 1-to-1 chat is not being deleted upon sign out
    5. Added support for restoring unread messages on startup
  2. Improved network detection
  3. Rearranged buttons for video settings.
  4. Fixed issue where video is being muted after restart.
  5. No longer supporting pre-iOS 7 devices

*We are aware of an iPhone bug in this release where the video is not launching although audio can still be heard.

Android:

  1. Fixed high data usage caused by bandwidth tests
  2. Fixed crashes:
    1. Login/Logout crashes.
    2. Crashes running in the background.
  3. Fixed call status being stuck as in-call sometimes.
  4. Improved loading time for contact list.

To see if you are on the latest version of VSee

Windows  – Click the Help icon in the address book –>select “About VSee…” and see if it is the newest version. VSee will download the newest client for you (which will show as a checkmark in task tray icon). Simply restart the program to use the updated VSee.

Mac  – Click “VSee” top menu and choose “check for updates.”

Please contact VSee support team if you have any problems, questions, or suggestions!

HIPAA Survey Shows Small Medical Practices, Billing Companies Not Ready for Audits

Thanks to Travis McKnight for today’s post! Travis is a journalist who discusses medicine, science and technology. Follow him on Twitter @Khellendos.

A health care study reports that a significant portion of surveyed small medical practices and medical billing companies are not compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s updated Omnibus privacy and security regulations, compliance measures, and communication methods.

HIPAA survey

The HIPAA study, which was conducted by Porter Research, NueMD and the Daniel Brown Law Group, gathered responses from more than 1,100 medical practices and billing companies throughout the country. Researchers interviewed providers, administrators, and medical office staff, 36 percent of whom didn’t even know about HIPAA’s updated rules. Of those respondents who did know of the new rulings, only 58 percent said they have a HIPPA compliance plan — a task required by HIPPA policy.

The 2013 HIPAA updates, which are affected by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, increased penalties for privacy and security violations up to $1.5 million per year, forced business associates of HIPAA covered entities to abide by certain HIPAA policies, and established new rules for notifying patients and the public of security breaches.

Additionally, the survey team noticed a trend suggesting billing companies may be doing better with compliance compared to medical practices, and that there is a consistent information gap between management and staff when handling HIPAA compliance measures.

HIPAA Survey Results Overview

The survey of more than 1,100 healthcare professionals revealed several areas of concern, including:

  • 66 percent of respondents were unaware of HIPAA audits prior to this survey bringing it to their attention.
  • 35 percent of respondents have conducted a HIPAA-required risk analysis.
  • 34 percent of owners, managers, and administrators felt “very confident” their electronic devices containing personal health information (PHI) were HIPAA compliant.
  • 24 percent of owners, managers, and administrators in small practices have evaluated all of their Business Associate Agreements.
  • 56 percent of office staff and non-owner care providers in small practices have received HIPAA training in the last year.
  • 62 percent of owners, managers, and administrators said their business provided annual HIPAA training; of those, only 65 percent said they have proof.