Challenges of Designing a Scalable Telehealth Platform — Dr. Erika Chuang, VSee

Are video visits fundamentally not scalable? Does your EMR really have to integrate with your telehealth platform? Can I get my existing equipment to work with a telehealth platform? Are telehealth platforms really the way to go? Dr. Erika Chuang, VSee VP of Product Management takes us through the fundamental challenges of designing a telehealth platform that is both simple to use and yet provides an integrated experience from the perspective of the designers and engineers in the trenches.

Technology supports designing a telehealth platform that scalable:

– Dedicated hardware endpoints are being replaced by heterogeneous consumer endpoints from laptops to mobile devices,

– software deployment can be done with a click of the button from a website anywhere instead of via on-site engineers

– broadband such as 3G/4G/5G is increasingly available anywhere

If the technology infrastructure is there, why is telemedicine scalability still such a problem?

1.  Healthcare workflows and care coordination are fundamentally complex operations and moving these complex workflows into the virtual space is uncomfortable for many of the operators.

2.  Every use case is a different workflow whether the case is small clinic, large hospital, primary care, specialist care, chronic care, etc. Each workflow is different and involves a number of moving parts – from health data that needs to be shared to the various members that need to be connected: doctors, nurses, care coordinators, interpreters, family members, admin, and others.

3.  Keeping an online experience simple requires designing unique apps to streamline very specific workflows. Developing unique apps for each workflow is not a scalable model.

Are telehealth platforms really the way to go?

A platform is simply a collection of apps that use a common interface. This common interface allows reusing code, shortening the design process, and pushing out apps more quickly. Thus it addresses the app scalability issue. The problem is that while platforms are often built for performance, robustness, scalability, and security, this is often at the expense of usability and feature bloat. After all, how do you design an interface for a host of apps that is not only generic enough to anticipate all the unknown use cases, and yet is able deliver an optimized user experience?  

Application point: seek out a telehealth platform provider that is agile, communicative, and able to collaborate well with your team.

VSee is the only video + telehealth platform used by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Watch Dr. Chuang’s full talk below.





Erika is the VP of Product Management at VSee. Passionate about user interface and software usability, she defines and drives the VSee product strategy. Prior to joining VSee, she held positions at Hewlett Packard, Disney Feature Animation, IBM, and the University of California. She has worked on audio and visual communications for over 10 years. Her work spanned from acoustic modeling for speech recognition to statistical modeling for facial expression analysis and animation. She received a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.


Telehealth Failures & Secrets To Success (TFSS) gets beyond the market hype to discuss the realities of doing telemedicine and the challenges facing the telehealth industry.

Join our TFSS Webinar series with telehealth experts and thought leaders from Microsoft, Qualcomm, Intel, and healthcare systems across the nation!