We’ve learned from many health and wellbeing experts that when conducting video sessions, people often have to use consumer or business video software like Teams, Google Meet, Zoom, or Whatsapp.
However, a therapy session is different from a casual chat with a friend. It needs to ensure safety, confidentiality, and ease of use for both the therapist and the client, without putting an extra financial burden on the therapist.
To help practitioners, we looked into the most commonly used software with these needs in mind. Our goal is to make sure every practitioner understands the pros and cons of each solution, to be able to make an informed decision.
Zoom had it’s rise to fame during the pandemic and for a good reason: it is easy to use and professional. However, Zoom has come under question for its use of user data and treatment of privacy issues.
On the plus side, Zoom communications are encrypted end-to-end. Zoom itself cannot listen in on your meetings.
There is a time limit on the free version: calls are limited to 40 minutes which is too short for most therapy sessions. Your clients will be encouraged to create an account and download the software to access all of the features.
Prices start at £12.99 monthly.
Google Meet is very intuitive: anyone with a Google (gmail) email address can set-up a video call in their agenda. It may be tempting to keep reusing the same call link, but if you do this, you risk seeing other patients inadvertently bombing your call…
Communications are encrypted in transit and later stored at Google’s data centers.
Neither you nor the client needs to download a software. You will only need to click on a link to join the session.
Google Meet is free, up to hundred participants in a sixty-minute meeting. Yet in practice, some users noticed that, after several sessions, their camera does not start unless they convert to paid.
Teams has a professional feel that could reassure patients or clients. The user experience is confusing at times.
By default, Teams communications are encrypted in transit only. Before a call, you and your client should enable end-to-end encryption by clicking your profile picture in the upper left corner of the screen and then toggling on encryption in the settings.
Unless participants have teams installed on their laptops, they have to choose between access via browser (navigator) or download upon starting the call. This may create unnecessary confusion.
Teams is available in a free version but calls are then limited to 60 minutes.
Virtually everyone knows about WhatsApp. This is both positive and negative, as you will read.
WhatsApp communications are encrypted end-to-end. They have however, come under fire for their use of data and this year received a fine for just under $6m for failing to comply with GDPR
Most people use WhatsApp. Chances are that your clients or patients are familiar with it.
The main issue here is that you risk mixing private and professional spheres. Your clients also mix their therapy and their private life. Tracking micro-expressions can be challenging from a phone screen, so check if your clients can join from desktop.
There is no need to opt for WhatsApp for Business unless you need e.g. massive-scale advertising.
Here is how the video compares to other software.
Isosconnect matches the highest security standards, with full encryption.
The client receives a call link in the appointment confirmation. They join in one click, and are not compelled to download any software.
Isosconnect is available in a free version. If you want access to e.g. unlimited video sessions, you may want to opt for the paid version starting at £15.99 per month.