The DroidDevCast

Telehealth in the Time of COVID-19

Episode Summary

In this episode, Esper Platform Evangelist and podcast host Rin Oliver is joined by Shawn Withrow, a Business Analyst at Common Spirit who works with Cerner ProVision Document Imaging (CPDI) to discuss Android telehealth, healthcare in a pandemic, and how the role of Android mobility has changed during COVID-19.

Episode Notes

In this episode, Esper Platform Evangelist and podcast host Rin Oliver is joined by Shawn Withrow, a Business Analyst at Common Spirit who works with Cerner ProVision Document Imaging (CPDI) to discuss Android telehealth, healthcare in a pandemic, and how the role of Android mobility has changed during COVID-19. 

In This Episode of the DroidDev Cast

00:51 - Withrow’s thoughts on how the role of telehealth has evolved during COVID-19. 
01:53 - How patient access to health records has changed. 
03:20 - How telehealth has had a positive impact on patient healthcare access. 
04:08 - Why Android devices impact provider telehealth adoption

Episode Transcription

Kiran Oliver (00:10):

Welcome to the DroidDevCast, a podcast brought to you by the team at Esper, bringing you the latest news, awful discussion and insights into all things, Android. Android, dev ops, and open source software development. I'm your host, Kiran Oliver content marketing manager Esper. And today I'm joined by Sean Withrow, who's a business analyst at common spirit working with Cerner Pro-Vision document imaging, and we're here this week to discuss telehealth and the time of COVID-19 and to explore the many ways in which Android kiosks and software have made an impact on the healthcare industry. So with that said, let's jump right into things and get started to kick things off. Obviously we're in the middle of a pandemic, that's brought with it a huge change how hospitals and doctors interact with patients by making use of tools such as telehealth and Sean, what are some of the key benefits of telehealth for the healthcare industry and for patients in your opinion?


Sean Withrow (00:51):

Sure. I think that patient safety and continuity of care are critical right now, both for work and for my personal health care experiences during the pandemic, I've seen that telehealth went from being an optional service to a critical one. It's allowed any visits that would otherwise face cancellation, a way to keep moving forward. And I consider that very important, especially for mental health during what continues to be a very stressful time for many people. I always keep in mind that folks don't typically visit hospitals and clinics by choice, by nature. They are places where sick people congregate and healthcare professionals take every precaution normally, but the threat of being a Nexus for spreading this illness has caused them to go above and beyond on safety. So, while being exposed to a myriad of illnesses, is part of their normal work telehealth has given patients that avenue to receive treatment from a safe distance.


Kiran Oliver (01:44):

Absolutely, and what are your thoughts on asynchronous technology for patient portals in particular where messages, images, and patient data are stored and then reviewed by a patient's medical team say at a later date.


Sean Withrow (01:53):

What I've always heard while working with medical records is that providers are reluctant to carve up time to sit at a desk signing documents. Providers like to stay mobile and often need to providing them with the data that they want and need without being locked to a specific location, I think improves compliance on their end and response times. I think both of those are things you want really badly in the healthcare sector. Kind of as a side note, I also consider patient portals to be a huge benefit prior to the portals.


Sean Withrow (02:20):

The only way to get your record was to show up in person at the correct location. My main job for a decade was helping hospitals and clinics move from paper records to electronic ones. And back when everything was on paper, I would constantly see people in the midst of dealing with poor health or an insurance battle or limited mobility have to track all the way down to the medical records department. That was probably in the basement just to fill out the paperwork and only then to find out that they needed to go and repeat this whole process somewhere else, because they were admitted to a different location. But the portal you can access your records wherever you need them, and if you had an accident while you were away from home, I think that the continued move to electronic data entry is the right direction.


Kiran Oliver (02:59):

I absolutely agree. I've had a lot of experience with online healthcare portals in New Zealand. And that's one of the things that they have really well over there as you can access your entire medical history right online and a portal years back, and it doesn't even matter. It's great, I love it. Yeah, so what are some of the ways that you've seen telehealth being used in your own workplace to help patients access care during the pandemic?


Sean Withrow (03:20):

You know what? I think that one thing that might've been discounted by a lot of folks is that, the facilities that I work with, some of them have been so impacted by the COVID shutdowns. That they've actually had to close their physical locations, and without telehealth, we would probably be in a position that these patients might either have interruptions to care or might be trying to find a new provider while this pandemic is raging on. The video calls, which were previously quite rare are now commonplace, and I think that while we still view them as a concession over an in-person visit widely, it's viewed much more positively than just being stuck on the phone with someone. So I think that there's a lot of immediacy there that's really appreciated.


Kiran Oliver (04:00):

Absolutely. And Android tablets are often used as a low cost gateway to telehealth care for many individuals. Do you see this trend continuing in the future?


Sean Withrow (04:07):

Absolutely. And I think that it's my opinion, but in the days, the days of needing a laptop or desktop to meet the average person's computing and internet needs are already in the past. And we are getting a lot closer to the dream of equipping every provider with a device that allows them to access their clinical system. It's so much closer than it's ever been before. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to go to a hardware fair where they're kind of demoing these different products available to providers. And essentially they were being asked to carry bricks around to be able to get under their system if they wanted to have a remote computing solution. So, we have more computing power and higher resolution cameras in budget devices in our pockets, than most healthcare companies ever had access to before. So I think that this trend is only going to continue.


Kiran Oliver (04:56):

That's amazing. What do you feel are some of the ways that Android developers can best make an impact when writing software applications for the healthcare industry?


Sean Withrow (05:04):

Sure. If an Android dev wants to make a splash in healthcare, the things they really need to consider, I think are not just the needs of the users, but the needs of the IT department that's going to be expected to support the applications after the fact. The biggest thing I always hear as a complaint is number of collects. If you've got more than three of your failing. Providers hate it, and really from a support standpoint, as those folks are supposed to be walking users through this. Those are always the complaints that we hear is, "How many steps is it to do the thing that they want to do? Less is more.


Kiran Oliver (05:36):

Absolutely, I agree completely. And lastly, is there anything you'd like to share with our audience that you feel might help them on their own business journey as we navigate COVID-19?


Sean Withrow (05:44):

Sure. I don't see COVID going away anytime soon, but more importantly than that is the echoes of what it has brought up to us, are going to be hanging around for a long time after that. Before COVID really, there was a lot of speculation, I think even about how important internet connectivity and remote data security, were. But once COVID started, it put everything right into hyperdrive. And I don't think it's going to slow down. Other than that, I would tell you wear a mask, wash your hands, don't touch your face. We're all in this together, and if you have any doubts, talk to a healthcare professional. And I know that we talked about this before, but limit your viewing of social media for mental health. And I wish you all the best.


Kiran Oliver (06:25):

Absolutely. Well Sean, thank you so much for joining us. I really appreciate it.


Sean Withrow (06:28):

Thanks for having me.


Kiran Oliver (06:29):

And thank you to our listeners so much for joining us on this episode of the DroidDevCast. We'll be back next week with another exciting show for you. Please remember to like, subscribe and share this episode on our social media. You can follow us on Twitter at @Esperdev and subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep up with all the latest happenings here at Esper. You can listen to the DroidDevCast on Apple podcasts, Spotify, SoundCloud, Simplecast, or wherever you get your podcasts from. Thank you again for listening and we hope you have a wonderful day.