INNOVATORS VS COVID 19
New Challenges, New Tools – Technology in Healthcare
We talked to Jeff Fallon of eVideon about value-based healthcare model and COVID-19
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Jeff Fallon: While some friends and relatives have won the battle with COVID, very sadly, some have lost theirs. My immediate family and I are healthy so far. And after 31 years of marriage, a silver lining in this pandemic is my wife and I still love hanging out together, and we’ve done lots of that.
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined eVideon.
Jeff Fallon: I’ve been on the supplier side of healthcare since 1988 with two-thirds of that time in med device and pharma (most of that with Johnson & Johnson) and the most recent third in software on a mission to reinvent how patients experience care while in a hospital bed and to give our heroic hospital nurses new efficiency and satisfaction as they strive to meet the daily challenges of healing others and thriving under the value-based healthcare model we’re moving to. eVideon’s founder and new VC investor brought me here to accelerate the growth of the company so that more hospitals, nurses, and the patients in their care can benefit from this reinvention.
How does eVideon innovate?
Jeff Fallon: Through smart TVs and tablets in the patient room and across the hospital campus, which are connected to the hospital IT backbone (the EMR), eVideon intelligently prompts patients with short personalized videos to educate them about the medical condition that has them in the hospital bed. So the usual face-to-face educational process with pamphlets handed from nurse to patient is modernized. We weave this engagement into a patient distraction and entertainment offering that they’ve come to expect in 2020. Integrating the education into these smart devices is key because that’s where the patient’s eyes are. Because it’s done asynchronously and completion and comprehension can be documented automatically, there’s also tremendous efficiency for nurses.
The value proposition during a pandemic is massive because PPE is spared, and the risk of contagion is reduced. We also deliver this location-specific data-rich content to smart devices like digital door signs outside the patient room and digital signage throughout the hospital so that hospitals can offer highly-contextualized branded information to all who pass. We recently launched HELLO, an app-less virtual video visit tool that’s inexpensive and super easy to use so that nurses don’t have to become tech support for those who don’t have FaceTime. That our developers built it from scratch at the start of the pandemic and hospitals can already light it up in 24 hours is a real testament to the innovation capabilities of our development group.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Jeff Fallon: The cancellation of HIMSS 2020 in early March, just as the pandemic seemed to be accelerating, was a major disruptive development for us. We have historically relied heavily on face-to-face conferences like HIMSS to meet hospital decision-makers who come looking for innovations like eVideon. The absence of these events has caused us to invest in other outreach models. Despite this and despite the very understandable fact that hospitals have rightly focused on care through the pandemic rather than taking sales calls, 2020 will be a terrific year for our company as deals that sat still since March have recently contracted or at least advanced strongly.
As a team of people who enjoy working together, we’ve missed the camaraderie of the in-office setting. But video conferencing has really helped us feel connected, and it’s unusual now to do internal calls without video. And the common video conferencing experience we’re all sharing has ironically resulted in our being “face-to-face,” if only virtually, with our clients and prospects even more than ever.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Jeff Fallon: Compared to the challenges our hospital clients have navigated, we did not have to make any difficult choices. I think we’ve learned to operate differently, and we’ve learned that we can be even more flexible than we imagined while delivering excellent service to our clients.
Your final thoughts?
Jeff Fallon: While COVID has certainly been a burden on all of us, particularly in healthcare, the entire industry has pivoted and evolved at lightning speed to embrace new ways of doing things. I don’t know if we’ll ever go back to the days of waiting rooms full of sick people coughing on each other when we’re now embracing technologies in healthcare that allow us to bypass that. It’s important now more than ever to give patients and clinicians the tools they need to make meaningful connections and have important dialogue about care while minimizing the risk of exposure. The good news is we absolutely have the tools to do it, and those tools are maturing before our very eyes. It’s exciting to be a part of it.
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