In 2020, when the telecommunications powerhouse Verizon bought BlueJeans Network, its intentions for the video conferencing platform were kept vague. At the time, Verizon said in a press release that the move was to combine the BlueJeans “meeting platform with Verizon’s unified communications as a service business.” In 2021, we learned what a significant part of that service is: telehealth. BlueJeans Telehealth was launched as a telemedicine platform offering video visits that are integrated with Electronic Health Record (EHR) workflows. Recently, Verizon Business announced an expansion of BlueJeans Telehealth that includes new data sources and new partners.
On the data front, the BlueJeans Telehealth expansion gives healthcare providers greater ability to source information from televisits — including high-resolution images of patients — to aid with diagnoses. This upgrade includes linking the Apple Health app with the BlueJeans Telehealth app for the sharing of data during televisits, such as heart rate, respiratory rate, blood glucose, and blood pressure. Addressing privacy concerns and HIPAA compliance, the patient controls what app-collected data they choose to share with their healthcare provider. The expansion also includes improved SMS text capabilities for scheduling visits and communication during televisits.
For providers, the BlueJeans televisit dashboard helps administrators make it easier to facilitate the reimbursement process and get insights on telehealth visits, both for individual patients and for broader views of how the system is providing healthcare as a whole. Bluejeans is also integrated with the Redox platform to connect with over 85 EHR systems. This offers a high level of data-exchange capabilities to both patients and providers, no matter how big these providers are or where they’re located: an important aspect given that the telehealth industry has a considerable number of small startups.
How many startups are there? Thousands, with tens of billions of dollars invested. The recent State of Digital Health report from CB Insights found that last year digital health startups sector saw a 79% year-over-year increase in funding to reach a record $57.2 billion. A large portion of that money went to startups that focus on telemedicine, digital therapeutics, and mental health. Redox CEO says, “It’s important that interoperability makes it easier for smaller, niche providers to serve their patient populations…. We can see that we’ve achieved a truly frictional data integration environment when rural health systems and small providers with custom EHRs are empowered through simple interoperability.”