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Using Telehealth features

Using Telehealth features

There are a variety of features and tools available to you during a Telehealth session. Understanding how to use each of these will set you up for hosting successful Telehealth calls. In this guide, we’ll cover:

Note: To learn more about how to use Telehealth, see: Getting started with Telehealth. For help with troubleshooting, see: Troubleshooting Telehealth appointment issues.

Features on a web browser vs. the mobile app

To use Telehealth by SimplePractice on a computer, you only need access to a web browser and a stable internet connection. Here's an overview of desktop browsers that support specific Telehealth features:

  Chrome Safari Firefox Edge Opera
Blur/virtual background X      X  X

Audio sharing

X*     X X
Screenshare X X X X X
Whiteboard X X X X X
Chat X X X X X

* only within tab sharing

Note: We recommend using Google Chrome.

When using a smartphone or tablet, here's an overview of the mobile device apps and browsers that support specific Telehealth features:

  Phone app Phone Browser iPad app iPad browser
Blur/virtual background        
Audio sharing        
Screenshare Viewable   X*  

Supported (viewable–except on Samsung Galaxy)

Chat X     X

* only within iPad app

Camera view

Your camera view is how your clients see and perceive your interactions during a Telehealth appointment. We've added a number of features that allow you to change the view your clients have of you. These customizations are only available when using the following web browsers: Chrome, Edge, and Opera 

To update your camera view:

  • Click the gear icon in the top right of a Telehealth appointment window
  • Select Background
  • Choose None or Crop 


This is what your camera view will look like when you choose Crop:


Blur and virtual backgrounds

There are also options to blur your background or to choose a virtual background to mask what’s behind you in a Telehealth appointment. 

To edit your background:

  • Click the gear icon in the top right of a Telehealth appointment window
  • Select Background
  • Choose Blur or another virtual background that we offer


If your background isn’t properly aligning, we recommend the following:

  • Adjusting your lighting so that you stand out from your background
  • Utilize a better quality camera, such as a USB camera
  • Wear clothes that don't blend in with the background


How your audio is heard by the client, as well as the way that you hear your clients can make a great difference in your Telehealth experience. You have the ability to choose the device that’s used for your audio capture. To do this:

  • Click the gear icon in the top right of a Telehealth appointment window
  • Select Audio
  • Use the Microphone dropdown menu to select a device



Our screen sharing feature allows you to share your entire screen, or specific tabs and applications that you have open on your device during a Telehealth appointment. Due to the restrictions that certain browsers place on screen sharing, you may need to use a different browser if you want certain functionalities. See the table below for which functionalities are available in what browsers:







Full Screen Share






Window Share






Browser Tab Share





Browser Tab Audio Sharing





* only when specific tab sharing

To share your screen

  • Click Share at the bottom of the Telehealth appointment window
  • Select Your Screen



Chrome offers three different options for screen sharing. Choose a screen or window under one of these tabs:

  • Entire Screen
  • Window 
  • Chrome Tab
    • To share audio, select the box for Share tab audio 
  • Click Share



  • Only allows entire screen sharing or a specific window


  • Only allows entire screen sharing

Tips for success

  • If you're screen sharing on a Mac computer for the first time in a browser other than Safari, you may need to go into your computer's System Preferences, and ensure that your browsers have proper access under Security & Privacy > Privacy > Screen Recording. Make sure that the lock icon in the bottom left corner of the window is unlocked before you attempt to change any settings.


  • If you're sharing your screen with your client, and you see a cascading effect with your screen mirroring many times over, this is due to sharing the Telehealth call tab. In order to stop this effect you can either:
    • Navigate away from the Telehealth video call tab or minimize the Telehealth browser window.
    • Stop screen sharing your entire screen and instead share only the tab or window you're intent on sharing with the other participants.


Our Whiteboard feature allows users to share an interactive whiteboard with other participants, either for individual work or group collaboration.

There are 7 tools available in the left panel when sharing a whiteboard. From the top to bottom, you'll find:

  • Select
  • Draw
  • Type
  • Shapes
  • Stickers
  • Vanishing pen
  • Insert file


  • The Select tool allows a user to select and deselect any object, drawing, or text on the whiteboard, and move, rotate, or delete it from view


  • To rotate, click and drag the arrow icon in the top left corner of the object once you've selected the object in question
  • To delete an item, click on the object and click the trash can icon or hit Delete/Backspace on your keyboard


  • The Draw tool allows Telehealth participants to use their cursor to draw, write, or highlight on the whiteboard
  • To change the Draw tool from write to highlight, click Highlight


  • To change the diameter of the Draw tool, click Thick, Medium, or Thin


  • To change the Draw tool color, click one of the 6 options



  • The Type tool allows users to type out words
  • To change the text size, click Small, Normal, Large, or XL


  • To change the text color, click one of the 6 options



  • The Shapes tool allows users to add 6 different shapes to the whiteboard


Insert file

  • The Insert file tool allows a user to upload a JPEG, PDF, or PNG file to the whiteboard
  • Use the Select tool to select, move, delete, or change the size of the shape


  • The Stickers tool allows users to add 9 different stickers to the whiteboard


  • Use the Select tool to select, move, delete, or change the size of the sticker

Vanishing pen

  • The Vanishing pen tool allows users to quickly highlight an area on the whiteboard


Insert file

  • The Insert file tool allows a user to upload a JPEG, PDF, or PNG file to the whiteboard


  • Use the Select tool to select, move, delete, or change the size of the file


Unlocking a whiteboard

When sharing a whiteboard, it’ll be locked by default as indicated in the top left corner. 


The Locked state indicates that only you have access to edit the board. To unlock the board and allow all participants to use the 4 tools, click Locked. As the clinician, only you can  re-lock or clear the board. To re-lock, click Unlocked in the top left corner. 

Saving a whiteboard

To save a whiteboard you've created:

  • In the top left corner, click Save


  • Review the modal that pops up
  • Click Got it

This will create a JPEG file in your Downloads folder for future reference.

Note: Once you stop sharing a whiteboard, you can't recover it, so make sure to save before you stop sharing.

Tip: You’ll have the option to hide or show self view and participants, as well as access chat while using Whiteboard. The controls for these features will appear when you move your cursor within the Telehealth window. For more information, see: Optimizing your Telehealth experience with additional features.


Our chat feature enables participants to communicate with each other without needing to use the microphone audio. Any chats sent are viewable by all participants in the Telehealth session at the time the chat is sent. There isn’t a way to download the chat log during a Telehealth session.

To launch chat during a Telehealth session:

  • Click Chat
  • Begin typing your message
  • Click Send or hit return/enter on your keyboard
    • To skip lines while chatting, hold shift + return/enter on your keyboard
  • Click the X in the top right corner to hide the chat window


  • Click Chat to reopen the chat window

Enabling and disabling notifications

You can disable on-screen notifications for incoming chat messages by going to Settings > General and turning the toggle off for Show preview of new chat messages.


Tip: Chat can be useful if a participant is experiencing connectivity issues, and you need a way to communicate with them. Whether you’re reloading the page or restarting your device, chat can be used to ensure that the participant is able to be reconnected as soon as possible.

Optimizing your Telehealth experience with additional features

Below are additional features in our Telehealth platform that can optimize your experience.

Tip: You won't see the controls for accessing the features below if your mouse is inactive. To see the buttons and icons for these features, hover your cursor over the Telehealth browser window.  

Switching between Speaker and Grid view

  • You can switch between Speaker view, which gives you a full focus view of the active speaker, and Grid view, which lets you view all participants side-by-side
  • To switch views: 
    • Click Grid/Speaker view in the upper right


Identifying the active speaker

  • The active speaker is easily identifiable by a yellow highlighted window when you're in the Grid view, or when a participant is pinned in the Speaker view

Pinning a participant

  • You can pin a participant, regardless of who's speaking
  • To pin a participant:  
    • Hover over their video stream 
    • Click the Pin video icon in the upper left 
  • To unpin a participant
    • Click the blue Unpin video icon in the upper left 

pin.simplepractice.telehealth.jpgHiding your self view

  • You can hide your self view so you can focus on your clients, while other participant(s) can still see you
  • To hide your self view:
    • Click Hide self view in the upper right 
  • To show your self view:
    • Click Show self view in the upper right 


Hide participants in the side panel

  • You can hide participants in the side panel to focus on the active speaker
  • To hide/show participants: 
    • Click the Hide/Show participants button in the upper right 

hideparticipants.simplepractice.telehealthj.jpgTime elapsed

  • You can see how much time has elapsed in your Telehealth session by enabling the timer from the welcome screen before the start of an session, or directly from the Telehealth call window during the session
  • To enable this feature:
    • Click the gear icon in the upper right corner of your Telehealth screen
    • Click General
    • Toggle the switch to On


  • Once this is enabled, the timer will appear in the upper left corner of your Telehealth window
  • If you clear your browser's cache or are holding a Telehealth session from a new device or browser, you'll need to enable the Telehealth timer again

Multitasking mode on iPad

  • When using an iPad to conduct a Telehealth session, you can utilize multitasking mode to view another window and your client at the same time


  • When in landscape mode, you can click and drag the divider to adjust the Telehealth app screen accordingly


Note: For additional details on how to use multitasking mode on iPad, see: Use multitasking on your iPad.

Telehealth by SimplePractice app on a mobile device

Our Telehealth by SimplePractice app allows for participants to join on their mobile devices.

To use features like whiteboard, you’ll want to use the web version. If clients are using the Telehealth app to join the call, they’ll be able to view your whiteboard, but they won’t be able to use the tools to participate on the whiteboard.

Tips for success

  • Ensure that you're utilizing the latest version of the Telehealth by SimplePractice app
  • Make sure that the connection is stable by connecting to WiFi over cellular data, when possible
  • Utilize Telehealth links from text or email reminders

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