In our last blog post, (a peek at the future of healthcare) we considered the key drivers behind innovation in the health care industry. Telehealth has seen explosive market growth in recent years and shows no sign of slowing down. Despite its enormous potential for growth, the healthcare industry faces regulatory challenges that impede innovation.
Since the 1996 introduction of HIPAA, (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), the healthcare industry has become highly regulated. The scope and complexity of healthcare regulation has made it incredibly difficult for organizations to adopt new technologies. Compared to other industries, they have been relatively slow to adopt technological innovations as a result. This trend has manifested itself in the adoption of the public cloud, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), and even the storage of online health records. With this in mind, one can assume this trend will repeat itself when it comes to browser based real time communications powered by WebRTC.
We know readers of this blog are enthusiasts and thought leaders when it comes to WebRTC implementations. Three months ago Mozilla launched its own experimental WebRTC feature powered by OpenTok into its Firefox Nightly channel. Now they’re calling on you to get involved and test it out as they release it into Firefox Beta.
Since launching this experimental feature it has evolved, and will continue to evolve, but the goal remains the same, to make audio and video communications simple and connect everyone with a WebRTC enabled browser.
Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a huge number of innovative organizations across many verticals integrating real time communications into their websites, apps or devices to create new forms of communication and collaboration. Healthcare and, more specifically, telehealth is an industry in which we have seen a considerable amount of innovation.
We know that the global Telehealth landscape is rapidly changing and will continue to experience significant growth in the next few years. The US will be in the forefront of this shift with a projected annual growth rate of 56%.
Come November, it will have been four years since we launched the OpenTok platform into the world. Can you believe it? During that time technology has evolved, market demands have shifted, and mobile has become king. As your ambassador to real-time communications, we’ve stayed on top of that ever-changing ecosystem.
That’s why we have some important news to share with you – The OpenTok 1.0 platform will no longer be supported as of January 5th, 2015. It was a hard decision to make as the TokBox team and you – the OpenTok community – have dedicated so much time and energy to building on top of it.