How COVID-19 has transformed healthcare
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of our lives in one way or another, from forcing us to adopt remote working to not being able to see our loved ones for months. However this will not last forever, we will find a vaccine and we will return to normal life, but what will normal look like?
This raging pandemic has had a lasting impact on healthcare workers, not only their physical health but their mental health too. This could leave lasting damage to their lives.
However, the pandemic could shine a spotlight on the healthcare industry after their amazing efforts to fight the pandemic.
The pandemic will leave a large dent in the healthcare industry for years to come. Firstly, the coronavirus pandemic has deterred focus from patients with long term illnesses and vulnerable groups including those with respiratory disease, who are at a higher risk of COVID-19.
Some cancer patients have not received treatment, which could have a fatal impact.
The pandemic has accelerated the development and deployment of telemedicine by around “a decade.”
This allows for a wider range of services to be offered to patients. And allows for less people to have to leave their home to seek medical help as thanks to the technology, they can be consulted and maybe even treated online.
The coronavirus pandemic is thought to be so widespread due to the fact that nobody was prepared for such a high scale, fast spreading disease, nobody has ever seen anything like this even including Ebola, SARS, AIDS. However, now we have had this experience, it is hoped that every company will be prepared for such an event if it is to ever occur again, this would then curb the effects and spread of the disease.
The National Health Service (NHS) will take a big hit from this pandemic, mainly due to them not having enough PPE, ventilators, etc. The lesson that companies need to take away from this is to be well informed, prepare to be agile and finally ensure that you have a steady supply chain.
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.