Case Study

ICASA Chat Platform

The Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA) envisions a world free of sexual violence. Its network of rape crisis centers provides 24-hour crisis intervention services, counseling and advocacy for victims of sexual assault and their significant others.

The Challenge

ICASA centers needed a secure, private chat system to provide their counselors and advocates a safe way to connect with victims via one-to-one text, video or audio-based chats.

By law, ICASA is required to adhere to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which outlines the standard for sensitive patient data protection.

As a result, building a secure messaging platform to serve ICASA’s counselors, their respective clients, and the organization’s administrators was our utmost concern and priority.

Icasa chat highlights

The Solution

During the discovery phase, we evaluated a few video platforms and third-party services. We needed an application that could facilitate scheduling and provide real-time text, audio, and video connections. Ultimately, we decided that a custom developed web application would be the best approach for ICASA.

For our core development stack, we chose the Laravel PHP framework. Laravel provides an expressive and elegant solution for building custom web applications, and it is a platform we’ve used extensively for other projects.

We also decided that Twilio was the best solution for providing a private and secure video and audio chat experience. Through our integration with Twilio’s powerful APIs, we were able to leverage their large infrastructure with high stability and flexibility.

Twilio’s programmable video platform allowed us to build a custom platform using WebRTC, which is supported across major browsers and devices.

Custom Chat Messaging Interface and System

Each client has a communication style that they’re comfortable with, so it was important to build a custom interface that allows for text, audio and/or video-based messaging between counsellors and clients.

To provide clients with a seamless experience, the chat is web-based with no app download required. The chat application works on both desktop and mobile browsers. We added a tech check function to help users set up before their chat.

Icasa client

Privacy and Security

The conversation between a counsellor and client must be completely confidential. The chat is only viewable by the users involved in the chat. During the chat and for as long as the chat messages are stored, the messages are encrypted and stored to prevent unintended access. The chat history is immediately purged from the system once the chat ends.

Icasa Chat Message

Centers and Counselors

ICASA has the ability to add multiple centers and counselors to the system. Each counselor is provided with their own login, so that they can schedule and start pre-scheduled chats with their clients. When scheduling, counselors can choose a date and time, as well as the type of chat they’d like to create. Additional options for notifying the participants are also included.

Icasa admin

Admin Interface

In addition to managing Center and Counselor accounts, ICASA admins can view reports about the chat sessions. To protect privacy, ICASA is not able to view any personally identifiable client information or have access to any of the chat details.

Icasa admin reports

Scaling the Solution

The initial chat application allowed for one-to-one chats between a counselor and their client. After rolling out the new application to their centers and collecting feedback, ICASA determined that some additional features would be beneficial. Primarily a screen sharing function and for audio/video chats to accommodate up to 50 participants. This allows their chat system to be used for additional cases.

Twilio’s API and custom implementation provides the chat system flexibility and security as ICASA’s needs evolve.

Icasa group video chat

Ready to get started?

Every day we help companies like yours create and maintain websites and web-based applications of all shapes and sizes. On time and on budget.

Get Started

More Case Studies

We work with our clients everyday to create digital projects that require exceptional strategy, design, and development solutions.

Out of the Shadows

Out of the Shadows

Web Development with Craft CMS, Data Visualization

Read Case Study

Piccolo Buco by Cooper's Hawk

Piccolo Buco by Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurants

Web Development with Craft CMS

Read Case Study

Esquire by Cooper's Hawk

Esquire by Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurants

Web Development with Craft CMS

Read Case Study

Finally, stress-free web development.

Ready to partner with a team as interested in your success as you are? Reach out today for a no-pressure consultation.

Get Started

The Clearfire team is truly an invaluable partner! They brought knowledgeable insights, were great communicators, and helped use get our new site designed, built and launched within a timeframe that worked best for us."

I highly recommend working with Clearfire if you are in need of a new website (or if you are revamping a current one). The talented Clearfire team spent a lot of time at the beginning of the process listening to our challenges. They then presented us with thoughtful solutions. They are prompt to respond to any questions and are just delightful to work with all around."

© Copyright Clearfire, Inc. Springfield, Illinois | Privacy Policy | | (217) 953-0321