Helsinki University Hospital (HUS)
About Helsinki University Hospital
Helsinki University Hospital (HUS) provides specialized medical care for citizens of 24 member municipalities. HUS wanted to leverage a video platform to optimize the care provided in sessions including:
- Pre and post-surgery
- Regular follow-ups from nursing
- Speech therapy
Solution: Self-hosted Pexip with custom elements
+ Hosted in Microsoft Azure
+ Microsoft interoperability
+ Customized join experience
+ Utilization of APIs for integration with internal patient booking system
HUS had been using a Skype-based solution for patient communications, but as their reliance on video communication grew, the IT team recognized the need for a scalable and secure solution that could also integrate with their existing technologies. They needed a high-quality, easy-to-use platform with a plug-in free webRTC experience for both patients and healthcare specialists so appointments could start on time. Together with their technology partner Innofactor and four other Finnish university hospitals, HUS created Health Village. Health Village is a digital medical platform providing patients with medical information and services available at any time and at any location.
Sami Laakkonen, the Project Manager of Health Village’s remote appointments was responsible for the integration and learned about Pexip due to the interoperability with Microsoft’s video conferencing solutions. “We needed a secure solution where participants could join meetings without the need to download a plug-in and it was essential that we maintained total control over sensitive patient information and confidential communications. Our technology partner, Innofactor, recommended Pexip’s software as a potential solution.” HUS evaluated an alternative cloud communications platform, but it was lacking the ability to support more than a person to person connection. The Pexip solution included the functionality to add additional meeting participants like relatives, translators or specialized medical staff. The flexibility and scalability of meeting participants allowed for the for a broader use of the solution.
HUS decided to trial Pexip internally first to see if the solution would meet the more advanced demands of their patient environment. A dedicated Pexip Solution Engineer assisted with a proof of concept and worked together with the technology partner to design and implement the ideal solution.
Although HUS had anticipated the possible need to do onsite training for medical staff, the internal technical trial went smoothly and it was decided to roll it out externally to a select group of services. The external trial was evaluated with post-call surveys to gather participant feedback. “There were only minor technical tweaks needed and everything worked well," reported Laakkonen.
"Users were happy to have mobile support and a good end-user experience that was plug-in free."Sami Laakkonen
HUS is able to host the entire solution by deploying the Infinity software in Microsoft’s enterprise cloud computing platform, Azure. Azure also made it easy to leverage Office 365’s single sign-on so health professionals can sign in without the need for authentication. Patients utilize mobile or their bank authentication to sign-in. With the variety of patients and medical staff needing access, the sign-in process needed to be as simple as possible.
HUS needed to ensure that there were different user roles available in the system including guests and hosts and also introduced additional security measures such as encrypted meeting room IDs and invitation information so meeting locations couldn’t be guessed or formulated easily. With this solution, no unwanted guests are able to join meetings with a guessed link, and invited guests join with a simple experience. After Pexip passed a third-party security check, it was rolled out for a much broader group of services.
Patients have adopted Pexip easily. Patients using the system receive an initial notification of their appointment, and one day before the meeting, receive a reminder and join information. The secure link requires login and authentication before joining the actual meeting. Patients can complete an optional test call before joining the appointment with the medical specialist. The test call allows patients to try their video and audio connection and has increased meeting efficiency due to reduced time to join. The introduction of video meetings has given patients the flexibility to take appointments from their homes as well as provided a time effective and cost-saving solution for the medical staff.
Due to the success of the pilot program, the reach continues to increase, with new clinics requesting the service each month. Pexip Infinity continues to scale on demand to support the increased utilization. The next steps include rollouts to additional clinics as well as the possible addition of a customized mobile app.
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