August 19, 2020

Doctor-Patient Communication: How We Make Healthcare Chat App Easy & Secure

Pronoy Roy


Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Healthcare is our world’s essential pillar. It supports us during the direst circumstances, as a community and even individually. In an era where communication has become almost completely virtual, doctor-patient communication still models a time bygone. Hospitals and clinics are cautious of adopting any online communication because of a fear of data breaches. These concerns are completely valid, and it is good to be cautious.


Keeping in mind these concerns, the United States passed an act in 1996 - The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act –better known as HIPAA. This act makes sure that Healthcare providers take great precautions when dealing with protected healthcare information (PHI).

Okay, these were a lot of big words, so let us break it down. A healthcare firm that deals with information about a patient, especially the kind of information that can identify a patient, has to follow strict protocols so that the information is not breached or made public. The rule applies to any technology infrastructure through which the information is passed. Be it emails, messages, or an intra-hospital messaging system – all of them have to be HIPAA compliant.


That means, even though the security concerns by healthcare professionals are valid – there are protocols in place to resolve such concerns and still make communication easy and secure. This is where CometChat comes in. CometChat is a chat API that businesses can deploy on their platforms and set up communication between its users within minutes. What’s more? CometChat is completely HIPAA compliant. It offers end-to-end encryption that secures each and every message sent.


In the following article, I will be explaining what makes CometChat the best Chat API to make your medical app the best in the market.

The Best Security Features

End-to-end encryption is a world class feature that makes every message sent secure. But what is end-to-end encryption really? Let me explain it with a simple analogy.


    …each message you send or receive has gone through a special treatment, making it as secure as it can be.


Imagine that you and your friend have a secret language that you use to send each other messages. The trick to uncover the message is to do some rearranging of the letters in a certain order. Each of you has the unique ordering with you, so only you two can ‘de-encrypt’ the message. Now imagine that each user has their own unique key that allows them to code and decode messages. This is a rather layman’s explanation of how end-to-end encryption works.


The big takeaway from this analogy is that each message you send or receive has gone through a special treatment, making it as secure as it can be. We also understand that as an app builder, user privacy is an important element of your work. That is why CometChat is easy to integrate in whatever app you build while still maintaining all security protocols.


Building the best medical app is a lot of work, so don’t work on building an infrastructure that you can get for as low as $49. Get CometChat here.

Communication Made Effortless

The ability to convey all your problems to a doctor is vital for a good care plan. For example, a doctor might need to see the condition acting on the body. This can be a very important tool for them to provide you the best care.


The notion that chat can be impersonal comes from a time where emojis, voice notes, and sharing media like images and videos was not possible. Having these tools at your disposal can help in conveying to the doctor what the problem really is. Research has even said that use of emoticons in conjunction with written messages makes the message easier to understand (source). People have been running around picking up reports, visiting the doctor to show them the ailment, and finding alternative ways to reach the doctor, all so that they can get the care they need fast.

This lengthy affair can be the reason a person doesn’t get the care they need in time. Communicating reports, health statuses, and recovery rates through a virtual medium can fasten the process without compromising the level of care provided.


A good communication system is also a management problem that several countries face. The key question they keep asking themselves is, “how do we get our best doctors to remote areas when needed?”. Having a medical app that is both secure and easy to use can help bring world class care to people who need it. Going virtual can reduce the logistical issues faced by remote areas and boost access to healthcare.


CometChat offers a live-translate feature as well that allows people to talk to doctors across the globe without the barrier of language acting against them. Communication is a significant factor in making healthcare more accessible to everyone.

Mental Health Care Patients can use it too!

COVID-19 lockdowns across the globe has pushed folks with mental health ailments to visit their healthcare providers online. While text messaging may not be of a lot of use to them, having the option to have video calls with their healthcare providers is a great way to bridge the gap.


This is another great benefit you get from deploying a chat API like CometChat. You get built-in voice and video calling in a format that users of smartphones are familiar with. The end-to-end encryption is still applicable on video calling and to top it off, because the communication is verbal, any information from a call like this would have to be stored manually by the participants of the call. For example, doctor’s notes and patient steps.


There is also an unexpected benefit that comes with using chat with doctors - patients feel engaged. Research in AI showed that several kids found that visiting a doctor was intimidating and led to them not opening up about their ailments. This kind of a closed mentality is observed with some adults as well. Having access to emojis and GIFs makes it easier for patients to communicate with the docotor. If you aren’t sold on how chat can make a conversation more engaging - read this blog!


An all-in-one medical app that makes healthcare available to patients on their terms is the future of healthcare. Due to the high-security nature of integrating a chat API, information movement can be closely monitored and spread of misinformation is curbed when doctors are the primary source on medical advice.

A One-Stop Shop for Medical Needs

While communicating with doctors and patients is the priority for the best medical apps, that’s not all that they are limited to. Having access to drugs and medicines is a must-have feature. Integrating a HIPAA compliant medical app also means that doctors can prescribe drugs to the patients and the app can be there to provide them.

Photo by Christina Victoria Craft on Unsplash


From maintaining medical records to recurring prescription, providing good care has a lot of steps involved. This is a huge gap that medical apps can help fill. With encrypted messaging and custom access level granting, the best medical app can provide for all patient needs – except the kind that requires the doctor to be physically present of course.

Conclusion

Building an app that works with medical professionals is not an easy task. You have to be following HIPAA regulations, privacy regulations and be vary careful with patient information. The infrastructure required to bring all of this into a newly made app can seem like you’re trying to re-invent the wheel. Instead, getting a ready infrastructure made keeping these regulations in mind is a better option.


The use of such integrations allows for medical apps to create better communication between healthcare providers and patients. The ability to remotely provide care to patients is an invaluable tool that can help bridge the accessibility gap that countries often face.


Having features like electronic prescriptions and recurring appointments makes it easier for users to keep track of their recovery, and that is truly invaluable. Mental health, minor ailments, and medical recommendations can all be taken care of with the help of a medical app that makes the communication between doctors and patients secure and easy.


So, what are you waiting for? Bring CometChat to your app make sure it stands out from the crowd with the best security features and easy integrations. You can click here to talk to one of our experts on how CometChat can help in your app endeavor.