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March 10, 2020: The last couple of years have seen huge strides in the voice-tech space and this has had obvious effects on healthcare. Our guest today is Kristi Ebong from Orbita and she is here for this quick episode to discuss the current voice landscape, how Orbita fit into it and areas most affected by the progress being made. We discuss the digital front door and how voice search is the most prominent part of what is happening in the space right now. Kristi discusses the 'bedside' and the improvements that are being made in efficiency and care with regards to patient allocation and specialists. Lastly, we look at how voice-tech is being used in call centers and the higher quality of service that is available to patients over the phone. Kristi also comments about investing in voice-tech in the healthcare space, the current position of the market and the unique situation in which the industry finds itself currently. Orbita is hosting a virtual conference this very week, in lieu of this year's canceled HIMSS event, so make sure to head over to the website and sign up immediately, you do not want to miss out!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • A quick run-through of Orbita, what they do and their customer base. 
  • Information on the virtual conference that is being hosted by Orbita this week!
  • Speakers and presentations at the event that have already been confirmed. 
  • The digital front door, the centrality of search and the role of voice in this evolving space. 
  • Unique opportunities present right now with regards to voice search. 
  • Voice technology in call center operations and better customer service over the phone. 
  • Kristi's thoughts on investing in voice tech at this current juncture.
  • More info and reasons to sign up for the virtual conference.
Transcript

This transcription is provided by artificial intelligence. We believe in technology but understand that even the smartest robots can sometimes get speech recognition wrong.

 Welcome to this week, health Events where we invite Great thinking from the, with interviews from the floor. No show, no problem. We're still gonna do the interviews with a bevy of great guests. Uh, special thanks to our channel sponsors, server advisors, healthly Scale and healthcare, VMware and Pro Talent advisors for choosing to invest in our show.

My name's Bill Russells Healthcare, CIO coach, creator of this week in health. It set of podcast videos and collaboration events dedicated to. Get through that really quick. Returning guest, Kristi Ebon with Orbita joins me right now. Welcome back to the show, Kristi. How you doing? Thank you. I'm great. All things considered, so thanks for having me.

Yeah, it's been a crazy week. Uh, we're all adjusting with the, uh, with the timeline and, uh, I, I, I appreciate you making, making some time for us on the show. Yeah. For you anytime. Well, the last time we were together, you schooled me on conversational technologies, which I really appreciate. I love learning new things, and I, I really don't mind, uh, people listening in as I sort of stumble through a new, a new topic.

And, uh, it was, it was really exciting for me to, I, I kept talking to people about voice and, and voice technologies, and then you broaden my perspective. Uh, orbita is really in the conversational technologies game. A strong behind the scenes player. A lot of people might even be using orbita and don't even recognize that.

It's, it's a, it's a platform play behind the scenes, bring everybody up to speed on what Orbita is and what you guys are doing. Absolutely. I mean, you said it, we are. If, if I schooled you, then you, uh, you were a good student. You remember . So we are a conversational AI platform, exclusively focused on healthcare and life sciences.

Um, we have customers from the provider space, payer space, pharma companies, um, and then a lot of, a lot of large technology vendors that are also using us to power their voice and chat initiatives. Um. It's exciting. I think back to a year ago when we were at himss, uh, we were just starting to get geared up for, for some of the announcements around HIPAA security and, and to see where, how far things have come.

Um, and so in lieu of HIMSS being canceled this year, we're doing a couple things. We're launching a virtual webcast this Thursday. We've got a whole, a really rich agenda. Um, kudos to my team for pulling it together so quickly on what's happening with, uh. Virtual bedside assistant. So this is a voice first bedside assistant.

Um, for inpatient and even senior living, uh, facilities. We are, uh, talking about the new digital front door. So how to really optimize, um, how you discover and find new consumers, get them in the door, um, navigate them to the right services and really qualify and convert them. Um, get them scheduled to be seen.

Um, and then also some of the really exciting work we're doing, augmenting our large technology partners. So this includes things like a virtual waiting room to optimize that experience from when you hit the, when you first, uh, hit the, the waiting game. The waiting room for a virtual provider to come on the line and to be able to converse with a virtual agent to really optimize that time.

So when you and I as a provider and patient are communicating, um, that that time is, is optimally spent. So lots of good stuff on the agenda. We also have a, um, a round table, a series of interviews that I will be conducting with, uh, some of the folks on the front lines of the public health response to Coronavirus.

And so it's obviously an area of, of, of large interest and, and in the industry where we're all positioned to hopefully provide some value to seeing what folks are are experiencing there. So I'm gonna come back to the, uh, I'm gonna come back to a couple things you said. I have a couple questions on that, but.

Uh, my question, my first question for you is, did your team have like a backup plan already prepared, or did they like work all weekend to put together this, this, uh, presentation on Wednesday after the announcement came out? Uh, that's a good question. We, um, we do have a public health person on the team, and so we've been anticipating this for, for a few weeks, and so the agenda has been designed as part of a contingency plan is kind of seeing this coming and wanting to be prepared either way.

Awesome. So, uh, so talk about the, this is on, uh, Wednesday or Thursday? This week? It's on Thursday. Alright. So we'll release this, uh, podcast on Tuesday. Today when we're, uh, 'cause that this is what we're doing, we're just dropping the shows as they come up. So on Thursday people can sign up. How, how do they, how do they find the agenda and the information on the conference?

Sure you can come to our website. It's orbita.ai. Um, and there's a link right there in the, kind of the middle of the page. Uh, it's, uh, this Thursday, March 12th from noon to five eastern. Um, happy to have you drop in and out at your convenience as well. And it will also be recorded, so we'll be able to provide that, um, to attendees who have other obligations or commitments.

So who are we gonna, who are, are we going to hear from? We're gonna from you. CEO are, are we gonna hear from others as well? Yeah. So, um, we, we have a whole lineup. We'll have more announcements later today. Um, the link that is live right now has our, our current confirmed speakers. We will be, um, including Terry Fisher, he's a sports and exercise physician.

Um, he's also the founder of Voice First Health. So he knows the space inside and out. Um, he'll be joining us. We have, uh, Anna Kravitz, the president of Adera, talking about some of the life sciences innovations that we're doing. Um, David Metcalf, who is overseeing the mixed emerging Technology integration lab at the University of Central Florida.

Um, some of you all may know Harry Poppas from the Intelligent Health. Association. Um, he's a big player in voice that we often see at himss. Um, and then also, uh, one of our newer additions to the team, Chelsea Beal. She is a nurse by background, informaticist, uh, season Informaticist ex Epic ex Propeller Health has been part of the Orbita team bringing, um, voice first to the inpatient setting.

Um, and so we're excited to have her as well as a couple of first frontline, uh, public health responders. So, um, this will include, uh. Johns Hopkins epidemiologist that is looking at treating, um, viral respiratory infections and, and understands that process. Um, as well as another epidemiologist at the state level.

Um, and potentially another special guest, um, whose name I, I can't yet announce, but it should be on the wires, uh, by later this afternoon. Gotta make sure they're gonna be there. So, uh, is this gonna be, uh, eastern time, I assume, or That's right. Noon to five Eastern. Nine to uh, nine to two. Um, Pacific.

Fantastic. So this is a really hot space. If, if people want to hear about the bedside. I, I, not to take away from your conference, but we did a, a podcast with your, uh, CEO, uh, and the other gentleman's name is skipping my mind right now. What was with Bill and Nate, I'm guessing? Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And they talked about the work of the point solution that was developed in Australia.

Just how exciting that was. Just in terms of, uh, the, uh, patient satisfaction scores, the clinician satisfaction scores. Uh, it is a really cool solution. We, we have that podcast. Talk to me about the digital front door. I mean, what, how is voice coming to play in the digital front door? So think about this.

So just a couple stats for you. So when you need healthcare, you turn to Google search. 90%, 89% of of patients, um, and consumers are searching on Google. Um, for, uh, for healthcare it's 70,000 health related queries a minute. And so the real. Digital front door is on the front lines of search. And so if you think about how search has changed with natural language and voice searching, um, even if you're a keyword searcher, the number of natural language queries that are being put into the ether, uh, every single day, every single minute is extraordinary.

And it's completely changed. Search engine optimization and how search display you can play around with this on your own time. Um, and, and figure out, you know, when you're searching for care, where do I get a colonoscopy? You know, who does cataract surgery near me that accepts Cigna? Um, and so what we're seeing now is healthcare and life sciences organizations starting to optimize for discoverability the real front door, starting at search.

And then not just to be discoverable and capture those patients, but with voice bot and chat bot tech to. Wrap a high touch, high conversion, qualified experience around that patient. So you're actually navigating the consumer to where they need to go. You're qualifying them into the right department so your neurologists aren't, um, booking up their schedules with headache patients, that they're really optimizing their schedules for the right acuity.

Um, and then you're converting them. You're getting them scheduled. You're getting them in to be seen, whether that's through a virtual visit or brick and mortar. And so our digital front door solution, uh. Also takes advantage of and optimizes existing technology infrastructure. And so, um, the, the fun part, and this is where we're really enterprise grade, is that we're sitting in a really sweet spot to take advantage of all these trends and also to serve some really strategic, uh, needs that a lot of these healthcare players have.

And search is really changing. I mean, we have, we have all these, uh, devices listening to us in the home, and we're doing searches differently than we used to. So we're not being presented with a, a list of 10 things like we would on say, a Google search. We're being presented with, uh, some decision making that's being done on the backend.

And these, uh, intelligent assistants are actually. Talking back to us and saying, you know, are you talking about this? Are you talking about this? So we, we really do have a, an opportunity right now, which is unique. Uh, we're in a unique point of history to reposition ourselves for this, uh, voice search that's going to be emerging.

Absolutely. Yeah. And I think the, the craziest thing is that. It's already upended everything, right? And so, um, I know when you and I spoke, it was probably not the last, not not at, um, at Health 2.0, maybe even a year and a half or two years ago. Some of this stuff, it was, oh, where are we gonna use voice in healthcare?

And it was a really broad, kind of generalized, uh, space. And now it's voice and chat are here. How do we use that to address just a plethora of problems? And so we've done that. Our customers have done that, and now we're, we're just, we're rinsing and repeating the lessons we've learned. Um, and it's, it's really exciting, honestly, having spent my whole career in health in tech, um, I think this is the first time when I can say without reservation that this is something that will be and is being adopted by.

Every demographic, uh, and user base of, of healthcare consumer in the marketplace. You know, one of the, we've, we talked about digital front door, we talked about at the bedside, uh, the call center's another place where this gets implemented, uh, a fair amount. Um, you know, one of the, I'm giving a shout out to, you know, I, I use Schwab and Schwab integrates voice really well in their customer service experience, and I'm already authenticated.

Just a bunch of things happen. Before I'm actually even talking to somebody and they're well ahead of the game, by the time I actually get a voice on the line and I always get a voice on the line, by the way, I don't this, people are worried that this technology, you're just gonna pop it in and replace people.

But at the end of the day, good customer service. Is people that are empowered with information to do the right thing for you. And, and, and you guys have solutions, maybe not point solutions, but you, you do play in that space as well. Yeah, we do call center operations across, uh, many different use cases.

We're live in, for example, um, I. Follow-up visit programs. So we do a lot there. Uh, for call center, we're doing a lot of call center plays in terms of prep before coming in for a visit. Um, also in terms of qualifying patients to get them to the right service. So, uh, for example, if you're an oncology center of excellence, there's a few things you probably wanna know from every consumer that you talk to.

Do you have a cancer diagnosis? Um. Are you able to travel for treatment? Uh, who is your insurance? And, and the answers to these qualifying questions really help patients and consumers get a personalized, navigated guided experience to where they need to be. And so, regardless of digital readiness, to your point about talking to a person.

We've seen this in, um, the restaurant industry. You wanna book a reservation at a restaurant. Sometimes you use OpenTable and resi. Other times, at minimum, you get to the right place and your phone pops up the phone number and it says, are you sure? Would you like me to call this number for you? And it gets you to the right person so that that live conversation you have is quick.

It's sufficient and it's meaningful to get you the information you need. One of the things I like about our conversations is that we both practiced you. You were at Cedars and I was down the road. Um, you know, if you were, if you were still in the health IT space, what areas would you be looking to make investments in conversational technologies today?

If you were back in the chair that you were in before? Absolutely. I think that we've seen this before, right? Where the initial impetus in an industry, you see a lot of point solutions and that's great 'cause it means there's market demand for it. There's problems that need to be solved and there's tech that can solve it.

Um, or tech enabled services. I think what we're seeing in what us especially, uh, enterprise and executive leadership knows is you need something to be enterprise grade. You need it to play nicely because at the end of the day, you know, you find something that's good for neurology, you still need to deploy it to, you know, 80 other subspecialties.

Um, you find something that works for clinical folks, it doesn't work for the business folks. And so, uh, the aha moment for me before joining Orbita was really understanding the tech. Um, and, and the space as, as enterprise grade and something that's, that's future proofing and can be used in, in just an extraordinary amount of ways.

Yeah. You would think we've learned that lesson already. We've, we, we have to scale these things. Um, but I, I mean, I know I went into dead ends in, in, in some areas where you just, you pick the solution because it's, it's there and you think, all right, well, you know, we just need to solve that one problem.

And it turns out that you do have to scale it across, uh, subspecialties. You do have to scale it across the organization. And this is where platform thinking really does, uh, come into play. And that's how you guys were designed. It is. Yeah. I mean, it's an interesting play for entrepreneurs. It's a catch 22, right?

Because you need to be able to navigate the market and find something and that people are willing to buy. Um, and that solves their problems. And so, um, that was a journey that Orbita went through. I think we're uniquely positioned because of the previous experiences of our team that the technology really is, is enterprise grade.

We had a lot of great traction out the gates and now we're upwards of. Uh, over 40, 40 customers lighthouse accounts, many of which are using us in multiple spaces across their, across their enterprise. So, Thursday, noon. Five. Lots of special guests, lots of topics. Digital front door. You're gonna be talking about, uh, conversational technologies at the bedside.

You're gonna talk about life sciences. Uh, anything else I'm missing or am I still a, AAB plus type student? No, you come a long way my friend. No, that's great. Noon to five Eastern this Thursday. Um, sign up even if they, if they can't make it live. We'll, uh, we'll send you a link and you can listen to the recordings at your pleasure.

Is it the type of thing where I could drop in for an hour if I'm only available from like one to three or something to that effect? Absolutely. We like to, we like to interact with people that have a life, um, and have a lot going on, so it's designed accordingly. I appreciate it. Uh, I and appreciate your time.

Thanks. Uh, thanks for making the time to and coming on the show. I, it's, it's awesome to catch up. Always a pleasure. Thank you so much. Thanks. Uh, don't forget to, to check back multiple times This week we're gonna be dropping more shows and this show is a production of this week in health. It more great content.

Check out the website this week, health.com or the YouTube channel as well. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.

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