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Telehealth Call Quality: How Agora Ensures Reliability and Performance  featured

Telehealth Call Quality: How Agora Ensures Reliability and Performance 

By Author: Patricia Finlayson In Business, Developer

For telehealth providers, investing in reliable, high-quality communication technology is essential for meeting clinical needs and ensuring patient satisfaction and adherence to healthcare standards. In the competitive telehealth market, the quality of calls can significantly differentiate service providers and drive their overall success.

Poor call quality can lead to misunderstandings between patients and healthcare providers, potentially impacting the accuracy of diagnoses and the effectiveness of prescribed treatments. High-quality interactions can enhance patient trust and satisfaction, contributing to their willingness to use telehealth services again. Providers can make more accurate assessments when they see and hear their patients without interruptions caused by technical issues.

The VP9 video codec provides many quality benefits for web-based telehealth video calls. When VP9 is combined with dynamic network routing, like Agora’s Software-Defined Real-Time Network™, the result is vastly improved video call quality and reliability.

Why is VP9 important for Telehealth providers?

Video codecs are two-part compression tools that condense video files for delivery across the internet. VP9 is a video codec developed by Google as an open-source alternative to proprietary codecs. It’s designed to offer efficient video compression and deliver high-quality video streams using less bandwidth.

For telehealth providers, the improved efficiency of VP9 over older codecs is a game-changer. It provides more efficient compression than its predecessor, VP8, allowing for higher-quality video at lower bitrates. This efficiency is particularly beneficial for reducing bandwidth usage and enabling smoother streaming of high-definition video content, such as 1080p and 4K, even on connections with limited bandwidth.

VP9 is compatible with a wide array of browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge, and is supported across a wide range of devices. This broad compatibility ensures easier integration and deployment across diverse technological environments, which is crucial to reach patients on various platforms efficiently. VP9 also supports adaptive bitrate streaming, which adjusts the video quality in real time based on the user’s internet speed. This adaptability prevents video buffering and dropped calls, providing a smoother patient experience during telehealth sessions.

For telehealth providers, cost efficiency is crucial to scale up services and make healthcare more affordable. VP9 is a royalty-free codec that reduces the costs of digital video transmissions. Agora’s efficient network handling results in lower operational costs, making it economically feasible to offer telehealth services to a broader audience without incurring high streaming or infrastructure costs.

Agora’s real-time network 

A video codec is only part of the equation when it comes to providing high-quality telehealth calls. How the video traffic is routed and delivered between participants is a major factor in quality. Standard routing across the public internet often runs into delays based on inefficient paths and traffic congestion. Agora built its Software-Defined Real-Time Network™ (SD-RTN) from the ground up to address the delivery challenges of real-time video and voice interaction. Agora’s network dynamically selects the most efficient routes for transmitting streams of video and audio frames with the highest speed or lowest amount of delay (latency).

This means that Agora’s SD-RTN™ routed calls are more reliable than standard peer-to-peer calls—even with just two people in a call. Using data gathered from the billions of minutes of real-world video calls Agora hosts each month, congestion control is continually optimized to give customers the best quality video no matter the bandwidth available.

Agora Coding Technology (ACT) is a core function of Agora’s SD-RTN™. It is designed to optimize user experiences by supporting a wide range of advanced video codecs, which includes AV1 for native applications and VP9 for web-based platforms.

How VP9 and Agora’s network work together

Agora’s SD-RTN™ is unique in that it combines dynamic routing with the advantages of VP9 calls. The combination of Agora’s network (SD-RTN) and VP9 offers several specific benefits for telehealth providers that can significantly enhance the delivery of healthcare services remotely.

VP9’s efficient compression enables high-quality video streams even at lower bitrates while Agora’s SD-RTN further ensures that the best possible video quality is maintained by dynamically optimizing network traffic and routing. The result is enhanced video quality and reliability for virtual video consultations.

The bandwidth efficiency of VP9 allows telehealth services to be accessible even in areas with limited internet resources. This is particularly beneficial for reaching patients with constrained bandwidth in rural or underserved regions. Agora’s network complements this by minimizing bandwidth usage without sacrificing video quality, ensuring that telehealth services are more universally accessible.

Agora’s SD-RTN provides a reliable connection with ultra-low latency, vital for real-time medical consultations. Support for VP9 means that even in fluctuating network conditions, the video stream remains smooth and uninterrupted, which is essential for maintaining the flow of communication during telehealth sessions. Adaptability to different bandwidth environments is another shared feature of both VP9 and Agora’s network, creating an ideal combination to reach end-users on a wide spectrum of network quality and range of devices.


Using VP9 with Agora’s SD-RTN provides telehealth providers with a robust, scalable, and efficient solution for delivering high-quality video consultations, which is essential for effective remote healthcare delivery. This technology pairing helps bridge the gap between patients and providers, making healthcare more accessible and improving outcomes. Agora is the only provider to offer full VP9 support with dynamic network routing for optimized video quality and reliability.

Learn more about how you can build a better telehealth experience for providers and patients here: Agora Telehealth Solutions.