Emerging from COVID-19: Rethinking healthcare
The COVID-19 pandemic has given us all an opportunity to press the reset button and rethink our business and personal decisions. It has also created a watershed moment for the National Health Service (NHS) as it has been struck with PPE shortages and much more, it has provoked the rethinking of and restructure of how the essential services it provides are delivered to the general public.
The coronavirus pandemic is the most disruptive event that healthcare has ever faced accentuated by the challenge that the NHS was previously facing. In the middle of the pandemic, many incentives have allowed the NHS to respond to the crisis at pace, despite the challenges it was facing due to shortages and lack of support. Without knowing it, we saw the healthcare system transform almost overnight in order to enable remote working of the non-clinical workforce, such as admin.
As seen in IBM’s report of how to emerge smarter, there will be steps in place to rebuild the NHS after the troubles that it has faced during the pandemic. The first step required to re-establish the NHS is to simply understand the nature and the magnitude of the backlog. We will need to understand where patients are on their journey of care which will either be in pre-primary care, in primary care, or on a secondary care waiting list. The next step in this road map to recovery is the design of the recovery plans for each of these individual cohorts which will be based on risk models, balancing the risk of infection, local capacity and urgency of treatment. Addressing the backlog of cases will require creativity and patience. The final step in the recovery plan is a more sustainable long-term model which embeds some new ways of working. The healthcare industry will need to pre-plan and prepare for the possibility of a (almost inevitable) second wave of the coronavirus to prevent the NHS from being under such strain and pressure that it faced last time. Preventing a second wave of the pandemic will be beneficial for the NHS, public health, the economy and much more.
Do you think life and healthcare will ever return to "normal"? Tweet us at @HealthcareDig and let us know.
Zoom enters the healthcare market - a timeline
Since the pandemic began Zoom has become an integral part of daily life for people working from home, as well as a vital tool for families and friends to communicate. However it's also been eyeing up the healthcare space since 2017, and following the boom in telehealth the company has been rolling out additional services. Here we chart Zoom's move into healthcare.
2011 - 2013
Zoom is founded in San Jose, California, by Eric Yuan, formerly of Cisco. He got the idea to create a video calling platform from his visits to his girlfriend while he was a student, which would take 10 hours by train.
A beta version is released in 2012, which can host up to 15 participants. In 2013 this rises to 25. By mid-2013, Zoom has 1 million users.
2014 - 2017
Zoom attracts investors, including Sequoia Capital, Emergence and Horizon Ventures. By January 2017, Zoom has a series D funding worth $100 million.
2017 - 2019
Zoom for Telehealth launches, including an integration with EHR system Epic. It has cloud-based video, audio, and content sharing features, a "waiting room" for patients, and can easily be integrated into healthcare provider's workflows.
In 2019 Zoom goes public, with its IPO rising 72% in one day.
As a result of the pandemic, Zoom gains 2.2 million new users, more than in the whole of 2019. On the 23rd of March alone - the day the UK lockdown was announced - the platform was downloaded 2.13 million times around the world.
Share prices rise to around $150, and founder and chief executive Eric Yuan becomes one of the world's richest people, with an estimated net worth of $7.9 billion.
Early security issues are addressed by encrypting data with the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). By now the the platform allows 99 people to be on a call simultaneously
New features launch, including Zoom Home and Zoom for Chats. Throughout the year the platform is used to replace most kinds of real life events: work meetings, online classrooms, church services and social events.
Renamed Zoom for Healthcare, users can share secured video, audio, and content through desktops, mobile phones, and conference devices. As well as Epic, it can be integrated with Strmr, IntakeQ, and Practice Better.
It can also be used with diagnostic cameras and other point-of-care devices, including digital stethoscopes.
In an interview with Korea Biomedical Review, Zoom Global Healthcare Lead Ron Emerson said: "Our service is not simply a virtual care and telemedicine platform but a multi-purpose platform that can satisfy the needs of healthcare institutions."
"It can be used for administrative tasks, including telemedicine, medical team meetings, recruitment, medical education, employee training, and disease prevention. Analysing electronic records managed by Zoom could provide meaningful insights into patient care."
Phoenix Children's Hospital, Belfast's Hospital Services Limited, Butler Health Services and the global Project ECHO are among Zoom for Healthcare's current customers.