We often hear about how technology is “changing the future,” but it can be hard to gauge just how big of an impact it has had and will continue to have on the way we live and work as a society. Live video, in particular, is transforming the way individuals and businesses interact by opening up new, more accessible channels of communication.
Here are some of the industries using live video to build better businesses and give more people access to the services they need to be healthier, better educated, and more financially conscious:
For many people across the United States — and around the world — accessing quality healthcare services can be expensive. The process can be difficult as well, as some patients need specialized services or counseling services not easily accessible in their local area.
Telehealth providers are giving people everywhere access to affordable physical and mental health services via live streaming. While not all appointments can take place over the Internet, virtual care clinic physicians are monitoring patients remotely, prescribing medicine, answering patient questions, and more — all through live video. The technology doesn’t just benefit individuals, however; fewer people in a physical office means that front desk staff, nurses, and doctors aren’t scrambling to see dozens of anxious, sick patients at one time. Insurance providers like Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealthcare have already started offering primary care appointments and quick patient consultants virtually, while apps like Talkspace and Larkr reduce the traditional stigma around therapy and connect people with licensed mental health professionals and counselors over live voice and video sessions.
With more healthcare providers offering services through video, more people will get the counseling, consultations, and treatments they need to live happier and healthier lives.
The Internet and the growth of mobile and handheld devices have opened up a world of educational opportunities that are available outside the walls of a traditional classroom. Anyone, no matter their location, can explore their passions, learn new skills and languages, and better themselves through the use of technology, especially live video.
While access to a wide variety of teachers and classes is an obvious benefit, the interactive nature of live streaming is also more engaging than just watching a pre-recorded video. Students and teachers can interact with each other by asking and answering questions and sharing presentations. Virtual classrooms are a win for traditional educational institutions as well, as they can offer more classes to more people without having to provide a facility large enough to accommodate them. Universities, both offline and online, are live-streaming classes to a growing number of college students, but the technology is also being used by private institutions as well. Cambly, a video chat platform that provides access to personal tutors to those interested in learning English, connects students and tutors via live video.
Live video will continue to be an important tool in encouraging people around the world to learn, engage in important conversations, and contribute to the world through the skills and knowledge they acquire.
It can be difficult for financial institutions to educate their customers, as the industry is sometimes cast in a negative light. Before they can educate their consumers, however, they need to build trust with them. As competition increases and people demand more transparency and convenience when transacting, these establishments, particularly banks, must evolve their services. Live video, among other technology, will be an important factor in that transformation.
According to Ernst & Young Global Consumer Banking Survey 2014, customers selected “the way I am treated” as the second most important reason for trusting their banking provider, followed by other elements of the experience including communications, quality of advice, and complaint handling. In other words, giving customers value in an accessible way is key to earning their trust. Live video allows banks and other financial institutions to build trust through one-on-one consultations, how-to demonstrations, and customer service. Instead of waiting in long lines or scheduling appointments weeks in advance, customers can talk with an expert who can help guide them through their specific situation, whether it’s researching home loans or starting a college fund for their future children, from anywhere in the world and in real-time.
Meeting with financial institutions in person can be a time-consuming process, but live video is opening up new communications channels and giving people the opportunities they need to take control of their financial futures.
Unleash the Power of Live Video
Of course, simply using live video is not enough to ensure a great user experience. Network connectivity can vary depending on users’ geographic locations. Taking advantage of a global network of data centers, like the Agora Software Defined Real Time Network (SD-RTN™), can ensure that all users will experience the same quality video experience, no matter their device.
When our founder and CEO Tony Zhao founded Agora, he was on a mission to change the way people around the world communicate through the public Internet through live video. By giving developers and enterprises the tools they need to leverage embed to real-time voice, video, and interactive video into their platforms and applications, more organizations across a variety of industries will have the means to better serve their customers and the world.