Standards given by the American Telemedicine Association on what devices health specialists and patients should use.
When using a personal computer, both the professional device for video-transmission and the patient’s site should, when feasible, use professional grade or high quality cameras and audio equipment now widely available for personal computers. Personal computers shall have up-to-date antivirus software and a personal firewall installed. Providers should ensure their personal computer or mobile device has the latest security patches and updates applied to the operating system and third party applications that may be utilized for this purpose. American Telemedicine Association | Practice Guidelines for Video-based Online Mental Health Services Copyright American Telemedicine Association 16 Provider organizations should utilize mobile device management software to provide consistent oversight of applications, device and data configuration and security of the mobile devices used within the organization. In the event of a technology breakdown, causing a disruption of the session, the professional shall have a backup plan in place. The plan shall be communicated to the patient prior to commencement of treatment and may also be included in the general emergency management protocol. The professional may review the technology backup plan on a routine basis. The plan may include calling the patient via telephone and attempting to troubleshoot the issue together. The plan may also include providing the patient with access to other mental healthcare. If the technical issue cannot be resolved, the professional may elect to complete the session via a voice-based telecommunication system. Screen-in-screen options, also known as picture-in-a-picture or “PIP” may also be used when feasible and are widely available in professional grade desktop videoconferencing software packages. Professionals and patients may opt to use cameras that allow for pan, tilt, and zoom for maximal flexibility in viewing the remote room.