, Volume 98, Issue 1–2, pp 169–193 | Cite as

WebRTC-based video conferencing service for telehealth

  • Julian Jang-JaccardEmail author
  • Surya Nepal
  • Branko Celler
  • Bo Yan


Existing video conferencing systems that are often used in telehealth services have been criticized for a number of reasons: (a) they are often too expensive to purchase and maintain, (b) they use proprietary technologies that are incompatible to each other, and (c) they require fairly skilled IT personnel to maintain the system. There is a need for less expensive, compatible, and easy-to-use video conferencing system. The web real-time communication (WebRTC) promises to deliver such a solution by enabling web browsers with real-time communications capabilities via simple JavaScript APIs. Utilizing WebRTC, users can conduct video/audio calls and data sharing through web browsers without having to purchase or download extra software. Though the promise and prospective of WebRTC have been agreed on, there have not been many cases of real life applications (in particular in telehealth) that utilizes the WebRTC. In this paper, we present our practical experience in the design and implementation of a video conferencing system for telehealth based on WebRTC. Our video conferencing system is a part of a large tele-home monitoring project that is being carried out at six locations in five different states in Australia. One of the aims of the project is to evaluate whether high-bandwidth enabled telehealth services, delivered through tele-home monitoring, can be cost effective, and improve healthcare outcomes and access to care. This paper however focuses on WebRTC-based video conferencing system which allows online meetings between remotely located care coordinators and patients at their home. We discuss the underlying issues, detailed design and implementation, and current limitations of using WebRTC in a real life application.


Telehealth Video conferencing WebRTC P2P  Real time communications Multimedia 

Mathematics Subject Classification

68U35 Information systems (hypertext navigation, interfaces, decision support, etc.) 



We would like to thank our industrial trainee Alex Ponomarev for the contribution towards the development of the prototype implementation. The research is funded by Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing under Commonwealth Telehealth Pilots program. We also would like to acknowledge and thank our partners: Department of Human Services, ACT Health, ACT, Northern District Health Service, TAS, Townville Mackay Medicare Local and Health District, QLD, Ballarat Health Services, Grampians Health Alliance, VIC, Nepean Blue Mountains Medicare Local and LHD, NSW, Anglican Retirement Villages, NSW, TelMedCare, iiNet, and National Brodband Network (NBN) Co.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julian Jang-Jaccard
    • 1
    Email author
  • Surya Nepal
    • 1
  • Branko Celler
    • 1
  • Bo Yan
    • 1
  1. 1.CSIRO Computational Informatics (CCI)MarsfieldAustralia

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