The PBS Corporation is an agency that provides individualized services for both adults and kids dealing with autism and related disabilities. The Corporation’s programs are designed to equip caregivers and others involved in the individuals' lives and support them through their natural routines so they can be successful and self-sufficient people.
Although PBS Corp. has a large team, the agency usually works in the form of numerous small local teams. Their Regional Coordinators ensure that the teams are highly-qualified to help those that need their services. Each team is made out of behavior analysts, program managers, and behavior assistants who receive proper support, training, and guidance that is needed to uphold the best practices in applied behavior analysis.
The PBS Corp. approached Share IT for a POC (proof of concept) for their Telehealth App. They wanted to build an application that would help them conduct clinical sessions between the client on one side, and the provider (medical staff) on the other side. They needed us to help them lay down the groundwork and build something that would actually work.
The app needed to be highly-secure since it was supposed to process delicate data. It needed to pass strict policies like, for instance, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).
In addition to doing a so-to-say “sanity check” of the product, our job here was also to provide the infrastructure for data flows within the app and build a system that could conduct sessions.
Since this was just a POC, we decided to properly prepare for the job and do some extra research. We really looked at our options before we decided which technology we were going to use for this particular project.
The system needed to enable video sessions, chatting with clients, and taking side notes that had to be saved and stored within the app after the session ends. The system needed to support users in scheduling their sessions with the doctor. Each session had to be encrypted and fully protected so that no third parties could intercept it - even if they get a hold of the session’s unique URL.
To summarize, we needed to come up with a solution that would allow us to create unique sessions that will be fully secured and HIPAA compliant.
We started the project by taking care of the chatting system: this was the easiest thing to create. We used the Web Socket and developed a chat app that enabled two people to exchange messages in a single session.
After that was done, we created a WebRTC as our third-party library for the video sessions. That ended up being the right choice because WebRTC ensured optimal security. In case you didn’t know, WebRTC requires a certain level of security that you need to set up upfront before you develop an environment where you will host it.
The front-end part of the app we made with ReactJS. We used Redux for state management since we needed to take care of a lot of things regarding sessions (both on the client and the provider side) and enable peer to peer connections.
In the end, we delivered a working POC to the PBS Corp. that satisfied all their business needs. After it got approved by the client, we started building the actual app based on the above-mentioned POC. We needed to implement the scheduling system and connect the whole business process with the app, which meant that we had to implement a data-sharing system between the app and the client’s SharePoint as the background administration system of the client/provider sessions.