Zoom gained popularity during 2020 for being easy to set up and easy to use. However that ease also translated to easy to compromise. Zoom have addressed many of the vulnerabilities but not enough!
Telehealth: Why we do not recommend Zoom
We’ve been critical of Zoom in the past and strongly recommended using other, more secure services. This article has started very much like our previous article on Video Conferencing.
In fact, that article also referenced a fairly comprehensive article posted by Tom’s Guide which is still relevant and was also updated in May 2021. The article, Zoom security issues: Here’s everything that’s gone wrong (so far), does suggest that Zoom is safe to use in most cases unless you are “discussing state or corporate secrets, or disclosing personal health information to a patient“
Zoom can also be used more safely by not installing the application and only using the Web version of Zoom.
Better Options for Telehealth
There are a number of Telehealth options that focus specifically on medical practice. The Allied Health Professions Australia published a Telehealth Guide in 2020. The AHPA guide lists many of the options available. Cost is usually the primary driver, although we’d argue security should come first, so some options may suit your more than others.
It’s also possible your practice management software has a telehealth option included with it. Both Cliniko and Power Diary include Telehealth options however I have only very briefly experimented with those two applications and have not tried the Telehealth option myself,
If your practice already has a Microsoft 365 Business subscription then you already have access to Microsoft Teams. Teams is primarily a collaboration tool aimed at helping you be more productive by making your documents accessible from anywhere and letting your whole team access and work in them together.
It also includes meeting tools that allow you to host face-to-face meetings. Whether you are meeting with one person or up to 250 (depending on your subscription), you can relatively easily book and meet with anyone that has a web browser or can download the free Teams app. The app is available from Microsoft for Windows, MacOS, Android and iOS.
See the Microsoft Teams: External Video Conferencing section in our Microsoft Teams: Video Conferencing article for a guide on using Teams for Telehealth.