Quality of video calls in eHealth

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Due to the many questions about the quality of video calls and our aim to take eHealth to the next level, this time we are going to publish a technical blog. Maybe a bit too technical for some, but definitely worth reading as it can greatly improve your online session. This is not only the case if you use EMDR Platform for your online video calls, but also for all other eHealth video calling software. Technically it is already possible to video call in ultra-HD (4K), so even sharper than the HD-movie on your TV! In our opinion, this could take today's eHealth to a higher level, especially if you think about the involvement of and trust in the remote caregiver. Let's see what you can easily do today to get a much better picture quality already. Before we get into the details, let us give you the four most important tips:

  1. Make sure the upload speed of your internet connection is at least 2Mbps
  2. Use a network cable or in case of wifi go closer to the modem
  3. Prevent others from using the same internet connection or your neighbours from using the same wifi channel while making video calls
  4. Check that your computer's CPU usage is not too high during video calls.


HD-ready, full-HD and ultra-HD

Do you remember these popular terms from the flat screen television commercials? First everyone had to be HD-ready, then came the full-HD and nowadays you actually have to have an ultra-HD (4K) television to really enjoy that beautiful film. We see that this topic is also becoming increasingly important in video calling now that we work so much online, but there is still a huge battle to be won. Especially with one-to-one video calls (see next paragraph), it is very nice when the image is really sharp. It makes you feel closer to each other from a distance.

Why do we often experience such low quality when we make video calls? The answer is simple: because the person you are video calling has not arranged this properly. And you in turn, have not arranged this properly for the person on the other end of the line. For the receiver, everything is actually already in order: the screen of the laptop or tablet is sharp enough, the download speed is more than sufficient and the technologies of the video-calling programmes (including EMDR Platform) have all been ready for a full-HD connection for a long time. The only bottleneck is the transmitter, i.e. the sending of the video images. To start with, your webcam is only HD-ready at best, then the upload speeds of your wifi and internet provider bring this down, after which the somewhat older laptop is burdened by the encryption of the video images to such an extent that ultimately no more than LD (low quality) is sent. In this article we give some simple tips to greatly improve the quality of your video calls.


eHealth, always 1-on-1

What makes eHealth unique is that the video call is almost always one-to-one: you as the practitioner and your patient. While you might expect that this is less demanding on your computer and internet connection than a video call with a large group of people, the opposite is true. Modern video calling techniques ensure that you only receive and send the quality that is required. In a group call, for example, there are several small video images visible, both to you and to the other people present, which means you send and receive a low resolution. In a 1-on-1 conversation, both you and the person you are talking to will probably always be in full view, sometimes for more than an hour, so the highest quality must always be sent. Lower quality is of course immediately noticeable, as is any interruption in bandwidth.


Up- & download

As a result of the way we used to browse the internet - mainly getting a lot of information from the internet to your computer, watching films, listening to music, etc - internet providers have paid particular attention to your download speed. In some cases, this is more than 10 times faster than the upload speed, which is precisely what you need to send the video image. We often get questions from people who indicate that they have 20Mbps internet, but when we ask further it turns out that this is only for 2Mbps upload. If we then test this, it turns out to be only 1 Mbps in practice. Therefore, please check (e.g. at speedtest.net) if your upload speed is at least 2Mbps and advise your client to do the same.

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