So it happened today that I needed to consult my child’s GP. When I rang up, they offered me a “video consultation” using the “PraxisApp Kinder- & Jugendarzt” which I, being in the IT, was prepared to try out.

So first of all I thought (maybe naively…?) that I could access it via my browser, but no: State of the art is to have an app, so I downloaded it from the app store. After installation I searched for the GP and registered with my email address which worked fine. After verifying my email address I accessed the “Service” menu in the app to start the “video consultation”, only to be forwarded to a website that was opened in my default browser (Firefox) on my phone.

App logo

App Logo for “Mein Kinder- und Jugendarzt”

So: “Why can’t I avoid the app and just use the browser?”

Anyway, never mind. The website informed me that it couldn’t access my phone’s camera or microphone, which did surprise me as my phone was set to “ask for permission when accessing camera/microphone”. I double checked that this was corrected, terminated my browser and tried again, to no avail. I also tried to open the same link in my desktop’s Firefox (via the “send tab to …” function), didn’t work though (authentication information wasn’t included, so the website would require me to enter a TAN that I didn’t have).

After some more verification of my settings I decided to delete the Firefox cookies on my phone as well as the saved “website permissions”, even though this shouldn’t have been the cause of my problems with the website (see above), but me working in the IT and stuff, …

So following this step I tried to start the “video consultation” again from within my app and, voilà! Now the website opened from within the app could magically access my camera and microphone, even though the phone’s settings weren’t any different.

Now I seemed to be in the waiting room with an indicator that the GP was “online” (“Ihr Arzt ist gerade online”) with a small light green dot/symbol beside it. What wasn’t clear was whether I still had to press anything or just wait (which, according to information given to me during the initial phone call to the doctor’s practice should only be a few minutes). After about 30 minutes, just when I was ringing the GP on the landline again to ask if I did everything right, the connection was established and I could video-talk to the GP. Maybe I should have tried to ring earlier, then it might have magically reduced my waiting time in the browser…?!

The connection itself was okayish with some lags and frozen video feeds on both sides (definitely not a problem with my local internet connection), but we managed to speak and sort the matter at hand.

So as a result it did work out in the end, but in the year 2021 I would have hoped for a better experience. Please let me just use my browser and have the app as an alternative for those who insist on using an app just for its own sake!

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