Adobe Connect – a review and analysis for healthcare professionals

Date: 05.15.2013 | Zach Urbina">Zach Urbina

Below are my notes and analysis from this morning’s Adobe Connect webinar.  Given that so many people in the field of medicine are turning to the web to grow and maintain their businesses, I thought it would be appropriate to share the more salient points, as they relate to healthcare professionals.

Emily from Adobe began the webinar presentation bringing attention to the growing need for workforces to connect, either by video teleconferencing or via web conferencing.  Whether in the office, conference room, telework location, or in the field, modern workforces need to connect remotely now more than ever before.

The irony of the Adobe webinar was that it was basically a tour of Connect, the web conferencing platform, but also hosted in Connect.  Well played, Adobe…

The first feature that raised eyebrows was the polling interface, which asked the audience what they needed from their collaboration tool.  The webinar audience must have been quite large, as for several minutes the three selections (video teleconferencing, web conferencing, and other) danced between percentages as participants chimed in with feedback.  The vast majority of participants selected web conference.

Emily continued, demonstrating that video teleconferencing has its limitations, needs dedicated equipment, and is often quite expensive.  Web conferencing, however, offers unlimited reach, connectable from virtually any web-ready device.

Next up, Adobe Connect was presented as a mobile workforce collaboration tool, offering a flexible, content-rich experience.

Features included:

  • annotated presentations
  • chat box with public/private capability
  • question & answer box
  • polling features
  • documents that can be shared, opened, reviewed together, and highlighted
  • chat messages that can be preserved and reviewed later
  • customizable URLs for a particular recurring event (i.e. weekly meeting)

On the mobile side of things, Adobe Connect supports iOS (iPhone & iPad), Android, and BlackBerry Playbook.  Participation, presentation, and hosting of Connect events are available via mobile devices.

Also included for the hearing impaired is 508 compatibility (i.e. closed captioning).

Connect was then presented as the single collaborative platform, facilitating as many users as need be (or, more likely, as available bandwidth allows).  Suggested applications included:

  •     Telework
  •     Online presentations
  •     Telemedicine
  •     Remote interviewing and/or recruiting
  •     On-demand help desk
  •     Compliance training
  •     Project review

During the Q&A session, relevant topics included:

  • Adobe Connect’s support of POwerpoint, within the platform.
  • For optimized connectivity, landlines were recommended for the hosts
  • The license limit that you cut with Adobe determines the number of connections.  (i.e. the only real limits to the number of possible webcam connections is bandwidth)

In all, Adobe Connect gave the impression of being a vital tool for tele-presence and telework.  Especially as more and more doctors are pushing their practices into the web to consult with patients, Connect could easily facilitate the needs of medical professionals to link up with each other as well.

Basically, Adobe Connect is Skype on corporate steroids, allowing full programs (i.e. Microsoft PowerPoint) to be incorporated into its framework.  Depending on how much of your office does business globally or from remote locations, Adobe Connect would be a fine addition to the repertoire of any medical professional.

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