Have you been researching for secure virtual care platforms in the past few weeks?
I know that I have been researching different virtual care platforms to see which one fits my needs and is compliant with PHIPA. My name is Vera Cheng, MSW, RSW Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist. I've been practicing psychotherapy in medical settings for many years and recently transitioned into private practice. Also, I noticed a lot of people have been considering using Zoom, so I decided to write a blog on Zoom and compare it with the virtual care platform that I’m currently using.
Listen, I'm not here to bash Zoom, but I can't help when there are tons of articles on social media stating that Zoom has security and privacy flaws.
One thing that bothers me is how Zoom spies on its users to gain profits. It actually collects a massive amount of personal data and uses third party trackers and surveillance as part of their advertisement.
I personally cannot trust Zoom’s security. Whether you are a Mac or Windows user, it allows hackers to hack into your computer without your knowledge. These include: enabling your camera without your permission, stealing your Window's credentials, secretly displaying data from people's Linkedin profile. Also, their encryption is appalling. It claims to be an end to end encryption; instead, it provides a link of encryption that means everything is unencrypted on its server.
Zoom stated on its website that it's PHIPA compliant. Still, it isn't technically acceptable for healthcare due to the considerable amount of personal data collected. Despite Zoom having upgraded some security measures, I hesitate to use Zoom as a healthcare provider.
Why use Adracare?
The reason I picked Adracare over Zoom is because I don’t trust how Zoom has too many privacy issues. One thing that boggles my mind is the recording button that Zoom has because it allows the facilitator to record the video session without participants knowledge. Adracare does not allow or record video sessions for privacy purposes, keeping it safe and compliant for everyone on the call.
I like using Adracare compared to other virtual platforms because it integrates a practice management solution. One of the features that I liked is the SMS reminder notification as it gives my clients a 12-hour notice before their appointments. This feature is free compared to other virtual care platforms. Another feature that I like is no download/login like other virtual care platforms; it's just a link that sends to my clients directly. It ensures my clients who would get the link directly. Also, I can share documents with my clients easily without hassle. When I tried other virtual care platforms, they were quite complicated. The quality of videos and audio is way better than other virtual care platforms that I've used as it doesn't have any lagging issue.
I found Adracare is more affordable than other virtual care platforms, and it gives you the option for a free trial. I’ve learned most virtual care platforms only provide about 1-2 weeks of a free trial or have lock in contracts for one year. If you decide to cancel within one year, you would have to pay for a cancellation fee, but Adracare has no strings attached.
There are few virtual care platforms that have a free version, but I recognized that free doesn't mean it's PHIPA compliance, or the video/audio qualities are as good as Adracare. I read reviews from healthcare providers who use free versions, and they have trouble connecting with their clients through these platforms.