Telemedicine App Leverages Chat to Create Engaging Healthcare Experiences

Emily R.
Emily R.
Published December 11, 2023
Customer Testimonial

Challenge: Medecision wanted to help its customers connect with patients faster and provide a more engaging care experience. The company's engineering team began building an in-house chat solution but ran into feature development and scalability issues.

Strategy: The Medecision team pivoted away from its in-house build strategy in favor of integrating a ready-made component. They researched and vetted multiple third-party vendors and narrowed their chat SDK options down to Stream and Sendbird.

Result: Stream's ease of use, documentation, and pricing model proved to be a better fit for Medecision's project and was implemented by the engineering team. 

About Medecision

Medecision specializes in digital care management and offers software solutions to help healthcare clients solve complex business challenges and provide a more effective care experience. Medecision's VP of Engineering, Russell Holmes, explains, "We help care plan companies, like Blue Cross Blue Shield, manage their member bases."

Dedicated to helping Medecision customers develop more engaging patient care experiences, Holmes shares, "We needed a chat system to help our customers improve engagement and experience on their platforms. Instead of communicating through snail mail or over the phone, a 1:1 chat interface could enable members to reach care managers in real-time."

The Build vs. Buy Dilemma

Medecision's original plan was to dedicate internal engineering resources to develop its chat functionality.

Holmes says, "We started to build a chat system but quickly realized that when we scale, we'll have to worry about scalability issues and developing features, like presence and typing indicators. So, we decided to start evaluating third-party chat vendors."

The healthcare software company's development time and resources would be constrained in more ways than one if they were to continue in-house engineering efforts.

"Another key factor in our decision to buy a chat solution rather than build one was that we wanted to offer our members an SDK they could easily integrate with their applications. We realized we'd also have to create documentation if we built the chat SDK," Holmes adds.

After weighing the possibility and reality of building a proprietary chat interface, Holmes collaborated with Medecision's Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Channel Partnership, Samuel Abraham, to research and vet potential integration partners. 

Finding the Right Partner

Abraham recalls, "We evaluated three or four competitors against our must-have criteria and telehealth security standards, including Sendbird." Holmes adds, "When we began our search for vendors, we found Stream. It had a great Javascript SDK and documentation that would accelerate and streamline the integration process for our customers."

After narrowing their options, Holmes recounts, "We had one of our developers test the chat SDKs of Sendbird vs. Stream in a development spike. Stream won—from a developer's point of view, it was easier to use."

Abraham recalls what sealed the deal from a partnership standpoint, "The two greatest factors that helped us decide to work with Stream were the maturity of its chat APIs and SDKs and its pricing structure." 

Integrating With Stream Chat

Holmes and Abraham worked with Stream's sales, support, and engineering team to prepare for the integration. Holmes says, "On the engineering side, the integration was effortless and straightforward. There are a few features we aren't leveraging quite yet, but the high-level functionality of sending and receiving messages works well."

Abraham concludes, "The Stream team is very helpful. They did a great job explaining best practices for cost-savings around different features, like concurrent connections."

By integrating Stream Chat, the Medecision development team can spend more time and resources iterating on the core competencies of the platform. Choosing Stream over Sendbird has enabled the healthcare software company to launch patient engagement features quicker and scale the program confidently at a price they're comfortable with.

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