80%. That’s the eye-popping portion of the nearly in-person physician visits each year that David Feygin thinks could be handled entirely remotely. Feygin is the Chief Digital Health Officer at Boston Scientific. Telehealth technology has soared in popularity during the outbreak. Also, positive cases continue to grow while officials estimate the worst is still ahead. Therefore, healthcare companies are quickly pivoting to support the rapid adoption.
At Boston Scientific, a Massachusetts-based medical device manufacturer, that meant a focus on creating virtual solutions using telehealth technology. Additionally, they needed a way to remotely oversee the insertion of their devices.
“We need to build tele-everything capabilities for what is going to be a tele-first healthcare reality,” Feygin told Business Insider. “Before, digital was a nice-to-have. It improved outcomes and drove some efficiency. But now it’s absolutely critical to safety, to patients actually receiving care, and to our own business continuity.”
The Growing Role of Telehealth Technology
Now, Boston Scientific is implementing these new practices, but the role virtual solutions will play are ever expanding.
Take its “Ask Angie” program, for example. The program provides remote expertise technology to customers having trouble setting up or operating Boston Scientific’s products. The system uses augmented reality from Help Lightning to merge the views of experts and customers to help guide the setup of new devices.
While the virtual hand can’t grab anything, it can point or draw on the screen to aid users. Adoption of the program increased slowly over the past few years, but usage shot up 400% in April amid the outbreak.
Feygin likened the overall pivot to the ongoing push for cloud-based business.
“The floodgates are really open,” he said. “The patients like it, the doctors
love it, the insurers understand that it actually saves them money, and the
regulatory barriers have really come down.”
Utilizing a Cross-Team Structure
Feygin credits the ability to adapt nearly overnight to meet the surge in
telemedicine to a multi-year transformation in its IT department.
Like other firms, the company pivoted to an agile team structure. Their solution: small, cross-functional teams tasked with specific goals. It’s a major shift from older management styles; keeping employees largely siloed within their own departments is a thing of the past.
“All of the work that we’ve put in…is now just more relevant than ever,” said Feygin. “We are doing the exact same work we have been doing, just doing it 10-times faster.”
Now, the agile method is being more widely-used across the company,
according to Feygin. “We have become laser focused on things that are going to help us get back to business. And, more importantly, help us help our customers get back to business,” he said.
Boston Scientific and Help Lightning
Boston Scientific transforms lives through medical solutions that
improve the health of patients around the world. As a global medical technology leader for 40 years, Boston Scientific advances science for life. The company provides a broad range of high performance solutions that address patient needs and reduce the cost of healthcare.
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