Podcast: Interview with Zoom Global Healthcare Lead Ron Emerson

Kristin Karaoglu · November 23, 2020 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/514f

How Zoom is positioning itself in healthcare, and why healthcare companies select Zoom's platform

Podcast: Interview with Zoom Global Healthcare Lead Ron Emerson

Highlights from the interview, in which Emerson spoke about how Zoom is positioning itself in healthcare, why companies are selecting its platform and how significant healthcare is to Zoom.

How big has healthcare become for Zoom (08:30) 

"If you look back at virtual health, and there's been many studies that have done been done in the past, if you or myself or our family members in the past, if we had an opportunity to basically get on a phone and see a provider, and we know this from self insured employers, we know this from insurance companies, that sometimes the user rate would be less than 3 percent. So, people that could access their doctor over a virtual visit, the numbers were lower in the past. One of the statistics is 11 percent of consumers used telehealth in 2019 and now 46 percent of Americans in 2020 have actually used telehealth, so that's a very, very steep increase. Providers during COVID, they were seeing 50 to 175 times more patients virtually than they were before. Steve, you did a nice job in your opening statements about it: a lot of it was out of necessity, we didn't want exposure. 

The interesting thing is, if you look at some of the data, like from Forrester, they predict that there will be 481 million visits this year that are done virtually, and then next year 441 million, but a very small percentage of them were actually related to actually treating COVID patients; a lot of it was, ‘how do we keep everything going just for general visits, urgent care visits, all the things that we need? All the normal elements that we have on a day-to-day basis.’ Then the other percentage was basically chronic care and a very small percentage of that was actually COVID. So, just in general, we've seen just seen this huge uptick. To put a little more color on that, 1.3 million Medicare beneficiaries received care virtually the week ending April 18 of 2020. And if you look at the statistics of Medicare recipients actually using telehealth in the past, it was quite low. So, as the business grew, we grew."

Why companies are choosing Zoom's horizontal platform (16:12) 

"When we look at Zoom, as I said earlier, it's really how can we serve across the care continuum? So, that'll be administration, unified collaboration, collaborative health care, education, wellness and prevention, using our technology to educate patients. Because one of the reasons that organizations love Zoom is that when you want to reach outside you can use it within the walls of the hospital system or the healthcare system, but when you want to reach outside, Zoom is very easy to use. So, you can reach those touch points into patients' homes and people can actually use it.

One of the reasons a lot of organizations are moving to Zoom, one, first of all, is the simplicity of it, it's very easy to use. The other is the quality and low bandwidth environments, and the other is that you can actually, as I said, reach outside touch points to non-affiliated healthcare organizations or others in the patient's home. One of the other big reasons is that healthcare organizations already have electronic medical records, they have health information technology systems, they utilize us every day. The ability to integrate Zoom into that traditional workflow that clinicians use every single day is very, very important."

Zoom is becoming the iPad of telecommunication platform (19:09) 

"Zoom was the number one downloaded app for a number of months, so it's already on a lot of people's mobile devices and what they use. The ease of use, we all see our children use it, as you said; my son uses it as well, I'm seeing meetings every day on it. But the other one too is when they want to have that integrated workflow, when the volume becomes large enough where they need that workflow under their existing health information technology systems, Zoom has done a very good job on the APIs and SDKs, so we can integrate into that workflow and mimic what they do. So, you can use it either way. 

The other thing that's very powerful is it's not a niche. What it allows you to do is you can use one platform and you can use that one license. Yes, you can see patients, but you can also have an administrative meeting, but you know what? You can also use it to get your CME to maintain your medical license. You can also use that same license to educate a patient on wellness and prevention and you can also use that same license for care coordination, you can also use that for discharge planning. So, there's this multi-purpose use that we see healthcare organizations using it for, that provides some real cost effectiveness and really moves the needle on a variety of levels for a variety of applications across the organization."

Where telemedicine fits into Zoom going forward (30:57) 

"Zoom is focused on telemedicine and we feel that we have a very unique opportunity and are in position to help a lot of people in a very cost effective, efficient manner that I think others have struggled with. We feel that we also have an opportunity to do that in a way that is the least disruptive to healthcare professionals and patients, based on what they do on a day-to day-basis in the traditional practice, which we feel is very, very important. 

The very high level definition of telehealth is the transfer of electronic medical data but I think all of us know that that can mean a lot of different things; that can mean a telephone call to some people, it could be storing forward technology. At Zoom, we're really about that live interaction, that meeting where it actually takes place. So, just to add on to that: the virtual health, a doctor seeing a patient, yes, we've very focused and it's very important, that will continue to be there. That 3 percent, of course, we all know there's going to be a bump there and we're dedicated to that. But where we've felt like we add some real value across the board, and provide a lot of innovation, is all of the other components of healthcare as we move away from fee for service. Things are changing. There's the global fees; a surgery is done, and a health care system, a doctor or a hospital gets a certain amount of money to provide that procedure. It's not every time the patient comes in the door there's a fee that is provided to the hospital system and the patient. So, we're getting capitated rates, which means they get a certain amount of money to take care of a patient per month. This really opens up the doors for healthcare systems and payer providers, this really opens up the doors for health care systems to be creative in how they want to use virtual technology, under the whole notion that it's just more efficient to move information into this peephole. We can touch more people and have more contacts, which we know has a direct influence on clinical outcomes and access to care. There's a direct correlation between access to care and quality of care and clinical outcomes, and we feel like we play a key role in that; not just doctors seeing patients but all those other, bigger, core, unified collaboration pictures within healthcare."

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Kristin Karaoglu

Woman of many skills: Database System Engineer; SplashX event producer; Author of Startup Teams

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