It's more and more common for psychological services to offer online therapy, often via Skype. Indeed, Skype can be used to extend the current practitioners capabilities by increasing their flexibility, availability and delivery of services. This can improve access to psychological therapies and provides patients and their practitioners with a more convenient alternative.
However, just because Skype has millions of users worldwide, people think that the communication platform also is secure. But is this really true?
Security and privacy when using Skype
As a matter of fact, there has been numerous concerns reported regarding the security and privacy of Skype. The data goes through Microsoft and there are several international hosting issues that come with it. If you're using Skype to provide online therapy, try to answer the following questions:
- Which country provides the hosting?
- Can you access your data?
- What type of data is being collected and held?
- Who has access to this data?
- Why is the data being stored and how long is it being stored for?
These are all important questions that one needs to be able to answer given the strict ethical guidelines that regulate psychological therapies. Thus, to ensure your security and privacy, Minddistrict offers a video-calling function that’s integrated into our secure ehealth platform.
Secure video calling
At Minddistrict, we address security concerns by using secure partner software. The data collected by our platform is protected, which allows you to know exactly what information is being collected, how long it's being collected for and what you can do with it. If you want to know more about Minddistrict's security measures, check out this blog post.
Joost Lommers works at Minddistrict and supports users who wants to use video calling. He explains why video calling on Minddistrict's ehealth platform is safe: "A secure stream is created at the start of a video call. When the call ends, the conversation history is deleted entirely. Moreover, the technology ensures that the user only will communicate through a secure connection. What I personally also find as a nice benefit is that you as a consumer of protected video calling is not exposed to spam and phishing."
When video calls in Minddistrict end, the conversation history is deleted entirely.
Joost also sees value in the integration of video calling on the ehealth platform as the client gets one-touch access to both online treatment interventions as well as direct contact with mental healthcare professionals.
Online care: more than just video calling
More and more therapists engage in video calls with their client. But online care involves much more than simply replacing a face-to-face conversation with a video session. There are many innovative solutions that can provide practitioners with an insight into their patients’ wellbeing between sessions. Think of therapeutic exercises, questionnaires, keeping a diary via an app, or following a treatment module. A therapist or counsellor can provide feedback on different sessions. Furthermore, clients and health care professionals can send secure messages to their healthcare provider and vice versa.
Indeed, online care tools like these can be used to support face-to-face conversations or as a (partial) replacement.
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