At the recent Zoomtopia event, the company touted its ability to power digital healthcare and financial services.
Zoom already integrates with popular electronic health record (EHR) systems, such as Epic. This allowed the company to quickly shift to telehealth at the start of COVID-19. People were comfortable using Zoom to video chat with family, friends, and co-workers, so the transition was fairly seamless when it came to delivering virtual care to patients via Zoom, Bill Shickolovich, the company’s CIO advisor of healthcare, said during a keynote address at the Zoomtopia event.
While doctors have returned to taking in-person visits, patients want to maintain some aspect of convenience with remote care. This means healthcare organizations must rethink how and why they’re offering care to patients. Some questions to consider, according to Shickolovich, is the visit needed for diagnostic purposes? Is it a follow-up? Is it a clinical assessment that can’t be virtualized? Is it a meeting with a care coordinator?
“We need to push digital transformation forward in healthcare. We need to consider the communication needs within the care continuum and determine where the opportunity is to enhance the engagement,” Heidi West, head of healthcare at Zoom, said during the keynote, which focused on Zoom’s vision for healthcare as the world adjusts to a new normal.
Virtual care is evolving to be fully digitized
One way to move forward is to view virtual care as more than just a video visit. Virtual care is about helping people manage their disease at home and providing follow-up care after a patient is dismissed from a hospital. It’s about having a mobile physician that can “see” patients anywhere in the world, at any time. It’s about closing the digital divide and providing care to people through affordable technology.
Patients have to become the center of care—from coordinating virtual appointments to engaging with family members to bringing in specialties who determine a course of treatment. That’s why Zoom is determined to break down communication silos, which exist in healthcare today, said West. Specifically, the company is focused on providing value-based care and lowering the rising costs of healthcare.
With a traditional care model, there is too much emphasis on charging fees for services. However, a value-based care model centers on collaboration and sharing results to give patients potentially better outcomes. The key is to make this model sustainable enough to convert both patients (convenience) and providers (profit).
Artificial intelligence plays a key role digital healthcare
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a technology that can accelerate value-based care without complicating an already complex delivery system, said Ash Damle, co-founder of Healiom, a healthcare logistics startup.
Its platform connects patients via Zoom to physicians in in less than 10 minutes by tapping into a specialist network and AI. Every patient is assessed and triaged by Healiom’s AI engine, Holmes, and two specialists without an appointment.
“We take data and apply AI, considering a patient’s past medical history, vitals, and other aspects. So, we can understand what’s going on, who they need to see, how fast. It’s an extraordinary opportunity that we have today in healthcare,” said Damle.
Looking ahead, platforms like Healiom could provide patients with instant access to healthcare using pre-visit and post-visit logistics. Pre-visit logistics involves deviceless screening through video and audio. Healthcare providers can use conversational triage AI to gather details about a patient’s symptoms, including real-time vitals (pulse rate, respiration, oxygenation). Post-visit logistics involves data-activated follow-ups to ensure patients received proper care.
This kind of innovation is likely to push organizations to become more comfortable with disrupting the traditional healthcare experience.
Understanding the future of digital financial services
The transformation of financial services has been fascinating to watch as it’s one of the verticals that has resisted moving many parts of its business to a virtual model, but the pandemic forced it.
Prior to being an analyst, I spent many years doing corporate IT for financial services firms, and although we were aggressive in the adoption of most technology, most firms tended to be conservative with where employees work and how customers interact. It’s nice to see financial firms changing, even if it was pandemic-driven.
Future of financial services will be hybrid
The future will be hybrid, Zoom’s global CIO Harry Moseley said during a financial services-focused session at the Zoomtopia conference earlier this month. Gone are the days of being in the office five days a week. The pandemic illustrated that people can effectively work from anywhere. As many return to the office, organizations are building hybrid work strategies, which will vary considerably for every company.
“The companies that have created hybrid work models, understand collaboration technologies and are planning for the future, will likely be the most successful companies in this post-pandemic world,” added Gary Sorrentino, Zoom’s global deputy CIO. “There’s a newfound work-life balance. Employees are leaving companies that are not willing to meet their new demands and requirements.”
As was the case for other industries, financial services firms adopted video applications out of necessity at the start of the pandemic. Now in a hybrid work environment, firms continue to use apps like Zoom for a variety of reasons, which Moseley and Sorrentino shared at Zoomtopia.
Employee experience is driving hybrid work
The first reason is a better employee experience. How employees connected, collaborated, and communicated was drastically different pre-COVID-19. Investment bankers would fly overseas, just to meet a client for a few hours. Days were spent scheduling in-person meetings and lugging boxes of documents around to client locations.
Today, every client/partner/co-worker is a video call away across borders and time zones. This is a great example of my previous comments of financial services being slow to change until forced to.
As firms become more comfortable with video, a key focus area will be workspace productivity hubs, said Sorrentino. A workspace hub is a tool that retains information shared during meetings, whether it’s in chat or on the screen, so teams can collaborate continuously and asynchronously. Continuous collaboration is important to keep teams productive, regardless of where they’re working.
Video changes customer expectations in financial services
The second reason is improved client engagement. Client engagement is changing where existing apps—such as financial consulting, mortgage lending, client-facing portals—are being upgraded with video. Moreover, new apps are being developed with video built-in to facilitate a frictionless interaction with clients.
“The future of client engagement is all about extending reach and leveraging the entire unified communications stack in these emerging apps. We are going to see video everywhere,” said Moseley.
The third reason is digital transformation. Video is no longer “a nice-to-have,” but it’s now expected by default, according to Sorrentino. Whereas in the past, the business-critical technology was a desktop phone and the business-critical app was email. Video on desktops and in conference rooms was difficult to use, often requiring help from tech support. Sharing content was also difficult using various platforms that had interoperability issues.
As of today, approximately 90 percent of all conference rooms globally are still not video-enabled. But that’s changing. Some firms are taking large conference spaces and breaking them down to create smaller huddle rooms. Whenever a large meeting takes place, several rooms can be connected with video. It’s a new way of working in a post-COVID-19 world.
Video is transforming the consumer experience too. Soon, there will be video-enabled ATMs and financial terminals, allowing customers to chat with tellers and financial experts from a remote location. There will also be video-enhanced mobile banking. This will allow for a more personable interaction between financial services firms and customers, where they can see facial expressions and read nonverbal cues. Financial transactions, investment banking, asset management, and retail banking will all be leveraging video-enabled tools.