Care from the comfort of your home: Current Health evolves healthcare through Zoom Meeting SDK
Current Health's offerings, including video visits developed using Zoom Meeting SDK, give patients greater flexibility in their healthcare experience.
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Challenges: Poor audio and video quality inhibiting effective care
Solutions: Zoom Meeting SDK
Business benefits: Increased access to care, better provider and patient experiences, faster time to market
A lot of our patients are also familiar with Zoom. So you're giving them something that they’re comfortable with and have used before. There's not a high learning curve. Our patient population tends to be older and less tech-savvy, so giving them something that they have a little bit of comfort with goes a long way.
Tom RobertsDirector of product management, Current Health
Everyone has different needs when it comes to their health. For some, it’s nothing more than a routine doctor visit each year. For others, it’s a lot more complicated than that.
Some patients may find themselves in and out of a hospital or clinic to receive treatment, resulting in time away from their home and routine. Current Health from Best Buy Health strives to resolve this issue by helping people access care on their own terms. The organization’s care-at-home offerings, including video visits developed using Zoom Meeting SDK, give patients greater flexibility in their healthcare experience by connecting them to providers they trust from the comfort of their own home.
Technology that makes a difference
Tom Roberts, director of product management at Current Health, is one of the many individuals who joined the company to, in his own terms, “change the way healthcare is delivered.” He noted, “Most people that I interact with have their own personal story of how either themselves, a family member, or a friend had a bad experience with healthcare, and they’re in this role because they see the opportunity to make a difference.”
One of the key ways they’re hoping to do that is with their Hospital at Home solution. “Hospital at Home gives patients options. Do they want to be admitted to the hospital? Or would they like to participate in the Hospital at Home program? Most of the time they opt into the program because it means they get to go home and eat their own food. And with the program, providers are required to have video visits with patients daily,” said Tom.
But the original offering came with limitations. “When it comes to delivering healthcare over video, quality is of the utmost importance. That’s why Current Health looked to improve its offering using Zoom Meeting SDK,” Tom said.
“The call quality may have been OK for a casual business meeting, but when you’re dealing with patients who otherwise would be in the hospital, it’s important for the doctor to have a very clear picture quality. If, for example, the patient recently had surgery and you’re looking to see if a wound is infected, you need to be able to clearly identify redness or swelling,” he noted. “You need the audio and video quality to be there. Otherwise, they’re going to have to bring these patients back into the hospital.”
When thinking about how to replace their previous video solution, Tom found that many customers were already familiar with Zoom, putting this solution on his radar immediately. “A lot of our providers were currently using Zoom in their other programs and told us to look at it. We were already using Zoom for internal calls, so we started to explore the independent software vendor (ISV) program.”
“We saw that with Zoom Meeting SDK, our time to implement would be significantly shorter than some of the other products. Because it’s just a couple of lines of code to launch Zoom, and then you’re getting all of the capabilities that Zoom offers. With other products, we have to build out a lot of the UI, but with this, we’re leveraging the full Zoom product and it just works,” said Tom.
Along with providers, patients also felt more comfortable with the switch to Zoom. “A lot of our patients are also familiar with Zoom. So you’re giving them something that they’re comfortable with and have used before. There’s not a high learning curve,” he said. “Our patient population tends to be older and less tech-savvy, so giving them something that they have a little bit of comfort with goes a long way.”
Enhanced reliability and accessibility for better experiences
Now, call quality or language barriers don’t get in the way of meaningful and effective communication between provider and patient. With Zoom now integrated into its solutions, Current Health can offer patients a reliable and accessible healthcare experience that meets them where they are.
“We’ve heard from providers who switched over to Zoom that the audio and video quality is much better. It’s much more reliable,” said Tom. “We’ve also seen that the provider is still able to perform the functions they need to assess the patient regardless of bandwidth constraints.”
“We’re now able to support multi-participant calls. So if the provider is on the call with a patient, and they need to call in a colleague, or if the patient wants a family member or caregiver, we’re able to invite them into the call,” Tom noted.
Current Health offers wearable monitoring technology that integrates with its solutions, helping alert providers if patients’ vitals change. “If a patient wears a [Current Health wearable] on their upper arm, it’s just like when you’re in the hospital — you’re hooked up to various equipment that’s monitoring your vitals. We’re able to continuously monitor the patient, so if their temperature spikes or oxygen drops, an alert is triggered in our solution, a provider reaches out, and they can initiate a video visit,” Tom said.
The implementation of Zoom Meeting SDK has also made the Hospital at Home experience accessible for more patients. “We invite interpreter services to join for patients who may not speak English. That was another driving factor to switch to Zoom — we have large populations of Spanish-speaking and Vietnamese-speaking patients,” Tom noted.
“The providers also love the closed caption feature for those patients who are hard of hearing or deaf,” he added.
Supporting patients and providers alike
While patients get to enjoy the comfort of their own homes through the Hospital at Home program, nurses get to enjoy a reprieve from a trying couple of years. “Over the last couple of years of the pandemic, these ER nurses have been on the short end of the stick. Some experienced poor treatment from patients,” Tom reflected. “Now, nurses are getting handwritten letters from patients and family members about how wonderful the care has been. So this isn’t just benefiting the patient, it’s also benefiting nurses and providers as well.”
The Hospital at Home program isn’t the only way Current Health improves the patient and provider video visit experiences using Zoom Meeting SDK. “In addition to Hospital at Home, we also serve patients undergoing chronic care management. They take intermittent readings that come through to the solution and perform video visits,” Tom said.
“We’re also working with pharmaceutical companies who are doing clinical trials — so when the patients are receiving treatment and monitoring all of their vitals, they’re able to do this in the comfort of their home rather than having to come into a facility each day,” he added.
Changing how healthcare is delivered
For Tom, the implementation of Zoom Meeting SDK meant Current Health didn’t have to sacrifice speed for a quality video experience. “It’s certainly helped us deliver some of these solutions quicker because we didn’t have to build them. We could prioritize a video solution that has the primary capabilities that our customers are looking for to support their use cases,” he noted.
By having to dedicate fewer resources toward building on the back end, Tom can focus on what brought him to Current Heath: the opportunity to change how healthcare is delivered. “We’re continuing to look at ways we can increase satisfaction for both the patient and provider and hopefully reduce the cost and burden of healthcare as a result,” he said.