This Week Health

HLTH21 – Krish Ramakrishnan of Blue Jeans a Verizon company

Krish Ramakrishnan from Blue Jeans stops by to discuss Telehealth past, present and future on our next discussion from HLTH 2021.

Transcript
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Today in. Health it interviews from the health conference in Boston My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of this week and health it a channel dedicated to keeping health it staff current and engaged. Just a quick reminder, I'm going to be dropping interviews over the next couple of days. And into next week from the floor of the health conference.

Bill Russell:

All right. Another interview from the health conference in Boston, and today we were with. Rama Krishna. Exactly. I did that well, thanks. Uh, well, welcome to the show. I'm looking forward to the conversation.

Krish Ramakrishnan:

Yes. Thank you. Thank you for

Bill Russell:

having me. And you don't have your title here, but you're with blue jeans network, which is a part of Verizon. W what's your, you have innovation and strategy. Yeah.

Krish Ramakrishnan:

Well, the founder of blue jeans, there you go. And now I run strategy and the chief innovator for the telehealth space at, uh, Ryzen by blue

Bill Russell:

jeans. Yeah. And I'm looking forward to this conversation cause we've. So many people come on to talk about, uh, uh, tele-health we, uh, in fact, I ran into Dr. Joseph Cavita or this morning over in the, uh, Omni hotel. And we were just talking about the stats that he said, you know, during the pandemic tele-health went up to 60, 70% of visits, some staggering number. I asked them what the new baseline is. He said, you know, it's slowly been coming down, but he said, it feels like right now the baseline is like 5% of. Visits at health systems has gone up. I'm like, wait, that sounds low. And he said, yeah, well backtrack a couple of years. And that number was like, 0.0, something percent. He said, so that's significantly, that's a significant rise. And what he's seeing is a lot of health systems are evaluating now with this experience where they can appropriately put tele-health in. So I wanted to touch base with you and just talk about, uh, let's start with the pandemic that. Really crazy. The amount of phone calls and work you guys had to do early on to get a debit. Talk about that a little bit.

Krish Ramakrishnan:

Um, during the pandemic, it was really crazy, but let me just step back a little bit. Blue jeans was always in the video conferencing business. They were selling to enterprise larger hospitals, universities. That's our core, uh, model, uh, compelling video content. So as it turns out during the pandemic, everybody wanted to have a video tool that they can do. We had many hospitals reach out and say, we need to get our inpatient to remote telehealth right now over the weekend. In fact, I will tell you, university of Pennsylvania over the weekend, they said, next week we are shutting down. How are we going to do it? We had to run a team out there, create a service improve capacity, 400%, 400% one week in terms of not only telehealth. Yeah, that was during the pandemic and we saw people embrace tele-health.

Bill Russell:

Yeah. W th they really didn't have a choice for the most part, not from a safety standpoint, this became the preferred method, the preferred medium for all health systems, uh, to, to move forward. So it was a, I call it a pilot at scale. I mean, it all, all of a sudden went from, Hey, we're playing around with. Now we're going to do it across the entire health system. Um, I mean, did that present different kinds of challenges?

Krish Ramakrishnan:

I actually, I would say it's more of an opportunity. Uh, we had to roll out video conferencing for everybody, but what we realized is video conferencing is a meeting tool, collaboration office tool, because it's not designed for tele-health. So when we became part of horizon, What if we can accurately look at video and in the context of teller tele-health and how can we repurpose bill for telehealth? And that's the innovation that blue Jean arrived and brings to the table. So we can talk about

Bill Russell:

that. So we get, we get into the pandemic. I assume what happens after the initial, uh, excitement of we've got to get all this stood up very rapidly. There's a. We've got to integrate this better. We've got to make it better for the workflow. The physicians want it to be easier. We want to make sure we don't drop any calls and that kind of stuff. So talk a little bit about, as it matured, as it went along,

Krish Ramakrishnan:

what we realized is in order for tele health to be successful, the user experience has to be at the top notch. Right? So most people were using it. Uh, Some kind of ID support. We wanted to make sure that it worked the first time. Doctors are not, it support people now in

Bill Russell:

order

Krish Ramakrishnan:

they want to be, they want to be, but turned out initially. That's what happened. I cannot call. I can not hear, I have echo. We want to make that compelling. We, second thing we did, uh, innovation wise, we made it mobile without an app. Download just one, click and join a. And then we made it easier for the hospitals to launch televisits by doing all of the EHR integrations so that we could have, uh, the patient record pulled out. Then we looked at this and said, one is we can simulate a real world waiting room. After all, when you go into a real clinic, there's a waiting room. There is an intake form. Uh, Things that

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you

Bill Russell:

need to do for

Krish Ramakrishnan:

education, all of those things. So we created a, one of a kind waiting role where the patients go in and they have intake form. They could look at all the videos and they can be notified. Even if the doctor is late, all of those things, those things we're missing an industry. That's something that BlueJeans brought to the table of revamp reading and then post visit. What are some of the. Uh, text messages, all those things were integrated so that we can build a, a very purposeful television application rather than using a collaboration application.

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I'll

Bill Russell:

tell you in the, I lived down in Florida and so, and I moved into a neighborhood where they referred to me as the kid. Now I'm 54 years old and they refer to me as a kid. It gives you an idea of the people I'm living around. And my neighbors were coming to me. Oh, you're the healthcare guy. I have a visit. I have a telehealth visit today and I can't figure it out and I'd go over to their house and they'd have an AOL browser. And I kid you not an AOL browser AOL email address, and they're trying to connect. And it was, there was a lot of friction in that experience. And there was a special, one of the, one of the people I was helping was had a meeting with a specialist at a prestigious hospital, and he ran about 17 minutes late and we had no indication that he was 17 minutes late. So. 10 minutes in we're troubleshooting. We're trying to figure it out that that experience is, is critical. And I would assume that a lot of health systems are really looking to, to, to optimize that experience on both ends the, the patient side and the clinician side. I

Krish Ramakrishnan:

felt that, uh, experience that you just related is not, uh, it's not uncommon. We have heard of about that lot at that point. I can, it's a perfect compliment blue jeans, the video app. Uh, couple with Verizon the network. So one of the macro trends that is happening across all industries, not just tell how it service, it's moving to the edge. Right? What I might mean by that in a thing, there is the network component there, the computation element and where the service is rendered, more and more services are rendered at the home. That is the new edge, whether it be watching a compelling. Whether you want to eat at a gourmet restaurant that shows up at your home, telehealth is no different. We want to make the experience of delivering tele-health better than being there. Well, better than being there. That's the north star for blue Jean. And by coupling that with the network so we can deliver 5g capability, no missed calls. Crystal clear video, no choppy audio. You're making the. That much better. And then you can then now with this integration of apple health data, it minimize the amount of time. times you need to go to the clinic to deliver that.

Bill Russell:

You know, we're seeing a lot of, I saw entrepreneurs here and they're talking about hospital at home for chronic conditions. We see a medically home where, uh, Mayo and, uh, Kaiser, uh, partnered essentially in medically home and they're taking stuff. Best buy is announced. They're a healthcare company. They're standing up the home. Uh, so I want to talk about the future because the future might be communication through blue jeans, to the, the, the, essentially the primary care docs and the others. But the, the hospital room is, is my bedroom is my, my home

Krish Ramakrishnan:

on the, on the money bill. The new clinic is. Surrounded by satellite clients that are more like your community hospital, something of that nature. And then there's the four, the bigger one, the bigger hospital, but it going to be a three tier system. But the primary clinic is your home. And therefore you need some of those, uh, data collecting devices like remote patient monitoring, uh, Diller and I like apple, uh, And then compelling, uh, video communication to make it very immersive. Yeah.

Bill Russell:

Well, and that's, it's, we're entering a new world. I've heard a bunch of the speakers here. Talk about the fact that the things that are happening have happened through the pandemic and will happen over the next two years will shape healthcare for the next couple of decades. And this is one of those areas where I think we're going to be talking to our doctors a lot more through this. We're going to be receiving a lot more of our care through this media. So I'm excited to continue our conversation and hear how things progress. This should be fun.

Krish Ramakrishnan:

Yeah. I'm excited too. One of the areas that really you're going to benefit from this is rural health bringing expertise to the rural area. I'd say Verizon mission blue didn't mention that is I'm very excited about

Bill Russell:

that. All becomes about the network at that point. Right? So it's. Uh, I talked to a CIO for the Cherokee nation and I said, well, tell me about your teller. Cause they ramped up. Tele-health pretty significantly. It was all over the phone. They did no video because they were in such remote places, all across Oklahoma that he goes, you know, we couldn't reliably do video visits. And so it really is about the network. At that point, if we had 5g and the promise of that bandwidth across the entire country, we really would change the nature of employment. Healthcare the nature of a lot of things. So

Krish Ramakrishnan:

as I said before, the new edge is the home. Yeah. This allows 5g and mobile edge compute allows the rural home to be part of the edge and be, uh, be part of the smart home and smart clinics. And everything's smart about it. Or even educate remote education to the rural areas, no longer the laggard. And that's most exciting.

Bill Russell:

Yeah. And I've often said, you know, if given the choice, if I get sick and you know, I'd like to pick my health system based on what's the best one I have, maybe it's Mayo, maybe it's Cleveland, maybe it's UCLA medical center for cancer. And, uh, and I don't care that I live in Florida. You know, when I have that kind of chronic disease, I'd like to interact with the best care I could possibly find in the country. And this, this really leads us in that direction.

Krish Ramakrishnan:

Gives us flexibility. And even the future, you may not have to pick between a or B. I think we are always confronted with these choices. Uh, should, should I go with one or two? What can I be plethora of choices? I have fought this. I'll go here for that. I will go there. Maybe for most of my care I'll be at home. Maybe I can walk to a neighborhood clinic, maybe for a check-in. I go to a hospital or even a remote location that. This is what tele-health and rich communication is enabling for you in the future

Bill Russell:

for first. Thank you for your time. I really appreciate it. Thank

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you, bill.

Bill Russell:

Check back for Morris. The, we continues. A lot of great interviews, a lot of great conversations. I'm looking forward to sharing them with you. That's all for today. If you know someone that might benefit from our channel, please forward them a note. They can subscribe on our website this week, health.com or wherever you listen to podcasts, apple, Google, overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, you get the picture. We are everywhere. We want to thank our channel sponsors who are investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. VMware Hill-Rom Starbridge advisors, McAfee and Aruba networks. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.

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