Speakers: Rebekah Friedrich, Lead Engineer, UMMS
What products have you built using Agora App Builder? How have your users benefited?
Rebekah Friedrich: Our team with the Center for Technology Innovation, develops new technology for the University of Maryland Medical System. Early in the pandemic telehealth exploded and we were suddenly forced to see patients in a virtual capacity in volumes that we had never experienced before. The existing technology was good at hosting video meetings, but the process of scheduling and facilitating those meetings did not support the workflow and flexibility needed for telehealth. So our team set out with the bold goal of creating a telehealth solution better than anything available on the market. And we created Teleport. With Teleport we integrate with the medical record and staff can send links to patients on the fly via SMS text message, or email. It uses the Web RTC technology through Agora to open the visit in a web browser. so no one has to download any apps. The patients and their providers can join the meeting within seconds and immediately begin visiting each other. We launched Teleport throughout our 14 hospital health system in November of 2021, and have seen fantastic results from all of our users.
How has Agora App Builder helped make your product successful? What challenges has it solved?
Rebekah Friedrich: We have also developed the Teleport in-patient platform, which allows remote providers to see patients while they're still in the hospital. For the inpatient platform we used Agora's App Builder to build an iPad app which facilitates those virtual consults. Patients can also use that same iPad app to send visit links to their family and to their friends, which supports remote visitation for patients while they're still in the hospital and their loved ones can't physically be there. The App Builder platform has been integral to the success of Teleport in-patient because it allows our development team to focus more on the innovative and customized aspects of the technology while using Agora's infrastructure to support the basic app functions. Agora has been a solid backbone of the Teleport platform. Thank you so much for being part of this journey.
Why did you ultimately decide to choose Agora as a vendor? What factors did you consider?
Rebekah Friedrich: We chose Agora because of their flexibility. It allows us to completely design our user interfaces in the best way for our patients and staff. We also use many of Agora's unique API options like SIP integration, which allows us to place audio calls out from the visit and speak with patients and their family members even when they only have access to a landline phone through SIP integration. We can also bring medical interpreters into those telehealth visits from over 300 languages. And that breaks down the language barrier, which traditionally is a huge barrier to accessing telehealth for patients that don't speak English. We also use their file sharing API to allow providers and patients to exchange files during the visit and send those files back to the medical record. One of the biggest reasons why we chose Agora was because their video technology infrastructure allows for many simultaneous video participants. Because of this patients, their family members, the healthcare team, even trainees, can all join the same telehealth visits without demanding huge network resources.