Verizon tailors BlueJeans for telehealth

A year after acquiring the videoconferencing platform, Verizon is rolling out a version of BlueJeans designed "from the ground up" for healthcare organizations.

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Verizon Business on Monday launched BlueJeans Telehealth, a version of the videoconferencing platform designed expressly for healthcare organizations. The platform comes more than a year into the Covid-19 pandemic, which drove up the need for virtual health services and shed a light on the specific technical demands for such services. 

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Verizon collaborated with an advisory board of clinicians and healthcare "decision-makers" to ensure the new service would meet the needs of the industry. Among other things, it's designed to address two key challenges that health providers have come across when connecting with patients virtually: tech literacy and efficiency.

First, to make the service simple to use, BlueJeans Telehealth lets patients join a scheduled meeting through the BlueJeans app, or through a desktop or mobile browser -- no downloads needed. Verizon is offering medical interpreter services in more than 200 languages -- including sign language -- via third-party partners like Voyce, AMN Language Services, and LanguageLine Solutions. The service also offers transcription and closed captioning services. 

To ensure virtual patient visits are efficient, healthcare organizations can customize their BlueJeans Telehealth landing page. From the landing page, they can give patients access to pre-visit medical condition surveys, onboarding materials, or educational information. 

For efficiency on the back end, visits are embedded directly within a clinician's existing Electronic Health Record (EHR) workflow. Licensing is based on a per-visit model, to simplify the reimbursement process. 

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Security and privacy features built into the platform include access controls, encryption, privacy checks, locked meetings, fraud detection, and moderator controls—to help protect healthcare organizations and patients. Additionally, BlueJeans Telehealth is HIPAA-ready. Verizon will sign HIPAA business associate agreements with its customers to address regulatory requirements around privacy and security.

"Today's launch is just the beginning for Verizon in what we see as the future of telehealth, especially when you consider the innovation that will come from 5G mobility, broadband, and cloud capabilities," Verizon Business CEO Tami Erwin said in a statement.

According to Verizon's own research, as many as 81 percent of healthcare organizations expect to see a greater investment in telehealth solutions over the next two to three years. Verizon, along with other vendors like Omron and Philips, has this year responded with a number of telehealth innovations, home monitoring, and virtual health products and services.

Verizon acquired BlueJeans a year ago, and the new product fits in with Verizon's plan to deeply integrate the videoconferencing service into its 5G product roadmap. Overall, Verizon Business is seen as a growth area for the company.

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