Beat Cold and Flu Season with Children’s Telehealth




Sitting in a doctor’s waiting room during the peak of cold and flu season, it’s easy to start thinking every cough and sneeze from the other patients is aimed at you personally. It’s even worse if you’re taking a child in for a routine check-up or another reason not related to contagious illness–you’d have to bring them to the doctor in a bubble to avoid all those airborne germs.

You’re not being paranoid, either. A study of nearly 85,000 people conducted over more than a decade found that kids under six face an increased risk of getting sickin the two weeks following a trip to the doctor. In turn, the study found that the child’s family also has a greater risk of illness after the waiting room encounter.

So, what can you do if your kid needs to see the doctor, now that winter is in full swing and children are passing viruses back and forth like they’re playing catch? That’s where children’s telehealth comes in. Ideally, it means you and your child get to stay safely at home while a virtual doctor visits via video conference.

Children’s Telehealth Via App

A group of pediatricians in Arizona has come to this very same conclusion. They’ve begun offering treatment for routine childhood illnesses like coughs, sore throats, and rashes over a video conference call. The service specializes in nighttime, after-hours care for kids, whereby parents can get an initial diagnosis over a video call before they, perhaps unnecessarily, rush off to the emergency room.

The concept is a simple one. For $125 per video call, parents can get in direct contact with a child specialist over their smartphone. Parents need to download an app to make the connection, but from there they have an instant telehealth portal in their pocket–and ‘telehealth’ is just a technical way of describing an interaction between a patient and doctor over video.

High-def video calling has become common over smartphone, so there’s enough visual clarity to recreate an in-clinic visit online, especially with mom or dad on hand to relay information like temperature and heart rate. In addition to keeping everyone out of the waiting and emergency rooms, virtual consultations also let kids stay in the comfort of their own home–and you can customize a telehealth call to appeal to kids.

Video Calling and Kids

Video calling’s recreation of in-person conversation is faithful enough to have earned it a pass from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The influential group is usually a harsh critic of screen time among young children, but last year made a rare exemption for video calls, expressing support for kid-friendly video chat apps. It found children as young as two were able to distinguish between broadcast video and interactive video calls. Because of this, the Academy suggested the technology could be useful in building relationships between children and distant family members.


In other words, a sick child staring at their parent’s smartphone understands that the doctor on the other side of the screen is speaking to and about them personally, and isn’t just another strange YouTube clip.

That understanding is crucial to a medical exchange in which a child is going to be asked to explain “where it hurts” and when they started to feel ill. As personal as video calling is, however, it’s still a digital format. We can certainly go much further in building on the face-to-face experience to make virtual doctor visits more child-friendly.

Making a Virtual Doctor’s Visit More Fun

VC Daily has previously explored some of the multimedia apps and special effectsthat can be paired with video conferencing to make it a more child-friendly. These include using popular augmented reality avatars and masks to introduce dynamic number, letter, shape, and animal graphics to a conversation, and touchscreen technology to let children get handsy with the images in front of them.

Similar concepts could be used in a medical setting. How about a touch-sensitive image of the human body so a child could point to the sore spot? Or interactiveaugmented reality projections that can be manipulated by little hands to demonstrate basic motor skills? If the strange face of the remote doctor makes a small child too uncomfortable to participate in the exam, there are cartoon avatars that can be employed to speak on behalf of the pediatrician, such as Skype’s WonderGrove Kids below:



All of this imagery and visual spectacle is available to make a virtual appointment with the doctor more enjoyable than a real-world trip down to the clinic. The real achievement, however, is preventing the child–and by extension their parents and extended family–from having to sit among a cloud of sneezing, coughing victims of the cold and flu season. If the online examination proves as effective as an in-person appointment–and there’s evidence to suggest it can be–then one day all of us could be spared that paranoid wait in the doctor’s office.



*** Repost from VC Daily article on January 9, 2018

*** Image Source: Flickr CC User Brett Neilson

Video Conferencing 101: How Not To Be A Vidiot

Video Conferencing 101: How Not To Be A Vidiot

The latest video conferencing technology is drop-dead simple to use. It’s as easy as pushing one button to join a video conference. Yes, you heard it right: one single button to connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime wth pristine quality.

So the technology has arrived but how fluent are you in the language of video conferencing and mastery of online meeting etiquette? Much like perfecting your golf swing or getting a swim cap on your head properly, becoming well-mannered on video conferences requires awareness of a few important nuances. Some are so subtle that it doesn’t matter much, like knowing exactly when to look directly into the camera to mimic eye contact, or choosing to nod your head instead of saying, “uh-huh.” Others are more significant.

In the Enterpreneur article, “Is There Proper Etiquette for Videoconferencing?,” Ross McCammon, Articles Editor for Esquire magazine, states, “Video conferencing is one of those things that we all generally endorse but is still new enough that we haven’t fully adapted to it.” That observation was made in 2011. Now, in 2016, video meetings have moved beyond a hot new trend to an everyday part of work life, and video etiquette has become even more important with a greater number of remote workers.

“The workplace is no longer defined by one centralized location. More employees are working remotely and high-quality video conferencing solutions from companies such as Polycom have become an integral tool for those workers to remain connected with colleagues globally,” said Jacob Morgan, best-selling author, speaker and future of work consultant. “With platforms like Facebook buying in to the video market, video conferencing is becoming more ubiquitous.”

We’re past the Wild, Wild West of video conferencing stage, but we haven’t all arrived at the stage in which we all follow the same code of conduct. For video veterans, this is a time to reach out and help your neighbor in need of video decorum. For video novices, this is a time to learn how not to be a Vidiot (video idiot).

Video etiquette goofs happen
First, allow me to acknowledge that mistakes happen. Just as the proverbial cobbler’s children have no shoes, video etiquette goofs happen to even the most technologically savvy—even those who work at Polycom, the maker of industry-leading video conferencing solutions with a remote work friendly culture.

As a five month employee of Polycom using video collaboration technology daily, I still occasionally forget to unmute the microphone, enthusiastically speaking for a while before realizing the other meeting attendees can’t hear me. But these things happen, just as most Americans regularly walk out the door without their car keys. Or when we have a brain hiccup and can’t remember the word for oven so we call it a “baking station.” These things happen.


Jokes. Wait for it…
For instance, jokes. McCammons says that jokes are about 30% less funny on video conferencing. I have more to add on that.

When video conferencing in real time, your voice takes about one second to reach halfway around the world—not bad! You learn not to be disappointed when no one laughs at your joke immediately. The first time I told a joke on a video conference call, I assumed the joke fell flat because no one laughed immediately. As I began to internally comfort myself from the embarrassment of delivering an unfunny joke, everyone laughed. It had just taken a second to land. Now I deliver the joke, wait a beat, and let the laughs roll in. If my joke is still not funny when it lands, I blame audio problems.

Vidiocy on a global scale
The beauty of video conferencing is that it brings worldwide colleagues together into one virtual room, defying even the furthest of distances. As with any international collaboration, you learn to be attentive to regional norms. For instance, having your pet in the room is generally okay in the UK, France, and Germany. Your Labrador Retriever Mr. Bojangles may not be as welcome on camera when you’re working with colleagues in India and Poland. Polycom commissioned a global survey of 1,205 business decision-makers in 12 countries, and found enlightening results you can read about out in Your guide to video conferencing trends and etiquette.

Great tips, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a sort of video conferencing sergeant standing over your shoulder to drill the video conferencing violations out of you?


Introducing Polly Calm
Meet Polly Calm, the video-centric Emily Post (no relation to Huffington Post). She’s frank, she’s funny, and she’s on a mission to save you from being a Vidiot. You may love her, you may hate her, or you may love to hate her, but one thing’s for sure: people need her. Through a six-episode video series, Polly Calm will share important tips and tricks designed to educate even the most seasoned video conferencing professionals on proper video etiquette. Polly Calm will prepare everyone, from interns conducting their first video job interview to C-level executives leading business meetings, to make a great impression.

Lifesize Partner Newsletter – December 2016




How Does Lifesize Use Lifesize?

We use it for everything. It’s easy for meetings in huddle rooms and conference rooms, and it scales to let us broadcast company-wide all-hands calls. We even use it to check the line at the food truck that stops by the office every day. Watch our new trailer.

New Partner Program Guide

Learn about the latest program details, including the increased standard discount rate on all renewals of cloud subscription services, new revenue opportunities, refreshed training courses and more. View the guide.

All Things Channel Cheat Sheet

Favorite this file for quick links to all the sales and marketing resources you need. Lifesize Channel Cheat Sheet.

New Cobrandable Assets!

Check out the new campaign-in-a-box assets for the “Own Your Meetings” campaign. Assets include an email, banner ads and new white paper. Learn more.

Enhanced Interoperability with Skype for Business

Lifesize continues to lead the way in interoperability. Check out our enhanced integration, including direct calling with Skype for Business! Learn more.

Added Calendar Integration Support for Microsoft® Exchange Server 2013

You can now pair your Lifesize® Icon™ systems to your Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 calendar in addition to Office 365® and Google Apps for Work™. Calendar integration lets you view upcoming meetings booked in the room and gives you on-screen prompts to join meetings in progress. Learn more.

New Training Opportunities

New 30-minute user training sessions now available in the Lifesize Events and Training calendar. Check the calendar.

2017 New Year’s Resolution Generator

Need a little help coming up with a New Year’s resolution you can stick with this year? We’ve got you covered with our 2017 New Year’s Resolution Generator. Generate resolution.






Three Tips to Make Your Mobile Video Collaboration Effective

Re-post article from

Video conferencing has made both personal and professional life easy. According to Pew Research Center, one in five Americans make video calls. Researchers have found that seven percent of cell phone users and 23 percent of Internet users had participated in video calls. Video conferencing can save time and money for IT departments as well if an organization trains their employees to use the video conferencing smartly.

Many people think it is easy to video conference, but the reality is different. If people don’t understand few basics, the way they use could affect the quality of video conferencing compromising the video and audio aspects. If the quality of the video and audio is not good, then the advantage of video conferencing is lost, and employees will stop using it. To make use of the video conferencing using mobiles the following tips should be kept in mind.

Tips to Make Mobile Video Collaboration A Success

Though video conferencing was done on desktops for almost a decade, the use of mobile devices for video conferencing is a recent phenomenon. As recorded by Wainhouse Research over 50 percent of workers use mobile devices at work instead of getting stuck in front of their desks. The participation in video conference through a mobile device is not same as desktops. You need to keep in mind certain aspects for effective video conferencing while using mobile devices.

Prepare Your Environment

Video conference becomes successful only in the right environment. Unless background noise and internet speed, and other aspects are taken care, it cannot be a success. Setting up a favorable environment is a standard procedure that you have to consider to start a video conference. You need to be aware of the situation especially when using mobile devices. It is true that you can video conference from anywhere with mobile devices, but ensure sufficient lighting for clear visuals.

  • Using natural light is best. If not, use bright overhead light for perfect visuals
  • Modern mobile devices can capture wider screen area, unlike webcam so you should adjust accordingly
  • Avoid distracting backgrounds for productive conferencing
  • You can test the visuals in a “selfie mode” and change color and light as needed
  • It is best to avoid backlighting and focus light on the face to ensure better visibility
  • It is a good etiquette to sit upright in the chair while video conferencing rather than be on the bed or slouching on a table.
  • You should always get ready in advance with all the reference materials if needed instead of running around during the conference. It will save time and bandwidth which saves money in the process.
Make Use of Technology to Save Money

There is no doubt that video conferencing saves money. However, use of the right hardware and software can increase savings and make video conference an affordable experience.

You have to choose the right tools and set the configuration to make video conferencing smooth. These tools should be readily compatible with the existing hardware and software available on the mobile devices. According to Blue Jeans, making use of android video conferencing for IT is one of the best things you can do for quicker reach as most professionals today – in the IT sector and otherwise – would like to use a mobile device rather than a desktop or laptop. It becomes all the more necessary when individuals travel frequently. Choose professional services and research all the options before making a choice to invest on a video conferencing device. It is the best thing to do to save money.

Placement of Mobile Device

A simple tactic for smooth video conferencing while using a mobile device is to keep it in a stable area. It makes a huge difference for your video conferencing presentation. It is not right to hold the device in your hand while conferencing, although most make the mistake of holding it in their hands.

You can make use of convertible cradles that often come with mobile devices. It helps to keep the device at an angle and also avoid shaking during the presentations. Always place the mobile device to show the viewers a visual from your shoulders up. The more the body language viewers see, the more efficient the video conferencing can be. If you need some height, then you can use necessary tools to increase the height.

A significant advantage of video conferencing through mobile devices is the ability to attend IT meetings from anywhere. The mobile makes it transportable and provides opportunities to work and solve IT issues even when you are on the move. It is one of the significant advances in business technology as it increases productivity while cutting costs. You need to be aware of the importance of setting up your mobile device for productive meetings. If you use the mobile device in the right way, participating in a video conferencing can become a smooth and enjoyable activity.

Why You Should Have Online Video Conferencing Regularly

Re-post article by Business World from

Online video conferencing has taken organizations by storm. Many companies are exploiting this technology to their advantage. There are still many businesses unaware of the potential of video conferencing. Here’s why your IT department should conduct online conferencing for IT regularly using services like Blue Jeans.

Flexible Workplace

Online video conferencing improves workplace flexibility. A study done by global workplace analytics as reported on PC mag shows that there is 3.7 million U.S. workforce working from home half the time. Video conference has changed the traditional office and provides the flexible work timings where employees can spend time with their families and children and yet grow professionally. This trend allows employers to employ professional people outside the geographical boundaries. Working remotely allows businesses to connect quickly with their IT employees to seek professional advice from anywhere in the world.

Increased Engagement

Research shows that people usually multi-task during a phone call rather than a video call. Video conference is more engaging and offers visuals allowing companies to understand their customers and employees better. Businesses can also ensure that employees are paying attention during the conference. As majority of the people are visual learners, it is a compelling case for video conferencing.

Increased Productivity

One of the ways to increase productivity is to share a screen. It helps you save time rather than sending huge files over emails. Screen sharing keeps the team engaged as it allows everyone to be in sync. There is no chance for miscommunication and loss of details. As the entire team is participating, listening, and contributing, it helps increased productivity.

Improved Communication

Online video conferencing fosters better communication and team experience as the meetings can be conducted any time and anywhere with various tools to improve communication. People can share their progress real-time and keep the current status of the project updated. They can also discuss projects, get training to upgrade their skills, and go through performance reviews and have group study circles.

The collaborative notes, video streaming, and other advanced technologies provide a wealth of experience and take collaboration to a new height which no other communication mode can match.

Quality Leads

Having regular meetings with customers help them to understand your products better, and your presentation will stay on top of their mind. It will help generate more leads and also assist in increasing the lead quality. As people attend your meetings since they express interest in your product, you will be readily getting more information about their contacts, demographic data, psychographic information since the customers have committed their time to learn. You can convert these prospective customers into fans by taking this chance and providing value.

Content Marketing

Video conferencing can be used to deliver content as visual, and an interactive material is the trend of the content marketing. Utilizing webinars and recordings to distribute valuable content can be the best way to attract customers. According to the Institute of content marketing, 66 percent of B2B marketers was of the opinion that webinars are successful form of content marketing while 62 percent said that videos are the most efficient method of content creation.

Establish As a Thought Leader

It provides an opportunity for you to establish as a leader in that category. With informative and unique webinars, you can create a buzz in the marketplace with your unique IT concepts and establish yourself as a brand where people want to listen to you. Once people find value in the content you deliver, more people will start listening to you on a regular basis and start converting giving you more business.

New Opportunities

You can use it for bringing in new guests as your partners to promote your services and products. It can have high effect in building a good relationship with the audience. You can also have a strategic partnership with them, which can help you increase number of customers. It will help you to bring new content to the public and increase your brand exposure, which will ultimately lead to more business.

Fine Tune Your Message

Due to real-time feedback visually from the audience on the level of the engagement, your message can be customized and improved to resonate with the public. It helps you deliver the better message and adapt to the circumstances. You can quickly figure out working system. You can assess yourself and your presentation skills, which will give you scope to improve, making yourself better with each passing conference.

In conclusion, it is now a necessity to hold regular video conferences with employees and customers to stay on top of people’s minds and drive organization’s goals and services in this competitive market. It is the best technology that can help you grow by keeping in touch with all the stakeholders of your business all the time.