By Dave Stubenvoll, CEO, Wowza Media Services.
The scale of the coronavirus pandemic is impacting every facet of daily life. As COVID-19 continues its global spread, authorities are restricting large gatherings of people and enforcing stay at home protocols. This crisis is forcing us to adapt to a “new normal,” and technology is taking center stage to help us through the transition.
Among the advances easing this burden are live streaming technologies. The rapid adoption of live streaming continues to grow with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, as a large number of companies are using this technology to improve their day-to-day operations.
In fact, as the popularity and usefulness of video delivery over the internet grows, reports reveal that live streaming has already attracted 47% more users than this time last year. Through the influx of telehealth, remote learning, remote video conferencing and canceled events, live streaming has become a versatile — and essential — tool that is changing the way we stay in contact with others, particularly in the age of social distancing.
Live streaming is gaining in popularity across many different industries. Until the advent of live streaming technologies, 911 operators only had one source of information to assess an emergency situation: the caller. Now, thanks to advances in live streaming technologies, 911 operators are empowered with unprecedented access to emergency situations via live video.
Carbyne, a technology company that delivers actionable data from connected mobile devices to emergency communications centers, uses live streaming to enhance critical response capabilities. Through the combination of real-time video and location data, Carbyne provides emergency personnel with a more accurate assessment of the scene before they arrive, reducing emergency response times by more than 60%.
While Carbyne’s technology has proven beneficial across the globe for several years, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought additional benefits to the technology. Carbyne is effectively able to remotely evaluate potential COVID-19 cases and forward potentially infected individuals to medical professionals via telehealth services while maintaining HIPAA compliance.
Additionally, the Carbyne platform has been used in some cities to help track COVID-19 cases, delivering a heat map that details coronavirus-related calls so the municipality can better allocate resources and prevent the disease from spreading. As one hotspot hit hard by the virus, New Orleans uses Carbyne’s COVID-19 service to manage emergency calls and help individuals who have contracted the virus contact telehealth professionals instead of flooding emergency rooms. Carbyne has been fielding 70% of the city’s emergency calls, a majority of which were related to COVID-19 symptoms.
Another vertical utilizing live streaming to help efforts during the pandemic is the medical field. AngelEye Health, a company that traditionally utilizes live streaming to help families monitor neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) patients, is expanding their services from NICU monitoring into intensive care units (ICU).
With limited visitation inside hospitals, including in the NICU, the technology has proven essential to families seeking real-time “visits” and information regarding the health of their newborns. Other hospital departments, such as PICUs and ICUs, have taken note and have started to implement this new technology. With hospitals overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, AngelEye offers the ability to virtually connect with loved ones despite physical barriers. What once was considered the future of health care has now arrived.
Both Carbyne and AngelEye utilize live streaming solutions from Wowza Media Systems. By delivering secure, reliable, low-latency streaming infrastructure, Wowza powers streaming for companies ranging from SpaceX to Vimeo.
By making streaming technologies accessible to an increasing number of organizations, Wowza opens the door for any industry looking to provide unique experiences and improved connections for customers. Whether improving emergency response, enabling remote medicine or connecting friends and colleagues, live streaming can be implemented to help companies on the front lines.
From business to education to health care and beyond, the novel coronavirus is prompting us all to utilize live streaming technologies in unique new applications that help us stay healthy, smart and safe. As the spread of COVID-19 has shown, there’s a growing opportunity for the implementation of live streaming technologies to help us overcome challenges posed by the crisis. While the business impact will become more clear as we learn more, the impact live streaming can have on improving our daily lives is undeniable.