Apple Live Reactions can Interfere with Telehealth

By TherapyNotes, LLC on October 12, 2023

In Apple's latest update for iPhones, iPads, and Macs, a new feature was released that can impact telehealth sessions in any video platform such as TherapyNotes, SimplePractice, Doxy, or Zoom. The new feature, called Reactions, creates visual effects utilizing a user's hand gestures. For example, making a heart-shape with your hands will trigger red hearts to appear on screen. 

Images: Apple

The full list of Reactions:

  • 1 Thumb Up will display a Thumbs Up Emoji
  • 2 Thumbs Up will display fireworks
  • 1 Thumb Down will display a Thumps Down Emoji
  • 2 Thumbs Down will display rain
  • 1 peace sign will display balloons
  • 2 peace sign will display confetti
  • A heart sign with two hands will display red hearts
  • Two horn signs will display lasers

Reactions are automatically turned on if the Apple user has updated to the most recent version of the software, and will occur on any meeting application or website utilizing the device's camera.

We understand that visual effects can be a distraction during a telehealth session and want to provide information on how to turn this feature off. Remember, both you and your client may need to turn off this feature.

Turning off Video Reactions on Your Mac

  1. During your call, click the FaceTime Camera icon or Control Center icon on the top bar
  2. Click Video Effects
  3. Click on Reactions to deselect

Turning off Video Reactions on iOS

  1. During your call, open the Control Center
  2. Click Video Effects
  3. Click on Reactions to deselect

* The content of this post is intended to serve as general advice and information. It is not to be taken as legal advice and may not account for all rules and regulations in every jurisdiction. For legal advice, please contact an attorney.


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