The scale and speed of COVID-19 surprised many, forcing dramatic changes to how we live, work and play. Healthcare saw an immediate impact. The demand for virtual visits surged.
For a leading healthtech company, that meant an aggressive push to launch their telehealth solution.
In under 10 days, the company:
- Chose Google Meet as their platform
- Worked with Agosto to meet stringent security and HIPAA requirements
- Integrated Google Meet into their custom scheduling application
- Trained internal staff
- Launched their first pilot client
“We were working around the clock to accelerate solution readiness,” their product management lead recalled. “It was a very stressful time…everything had to be compressed.”
Fortunately, the rollout went exceedingly well. Within weeks, the healthtech firm expanded its telehealth solution nationwide. Today, thousands of consumers and nurse practitioners use Google Meet to get the clinical attention they need.
Agosto, a Pythian company, teamed up with the healthtech company to provide insights, support and guidance at every step. Agosto’s speed and agility, combined with the robust Google Meet platform, impressed the healthtech firm and made a nearly impossible deadline possible.
“Other vendors lined up to support our solution, but none could work as quickly as Google, or meet our security and compliance requirements,” the product management lead said.
He added, “Agosto played an instrumental role in powering through this with us and being an extension of our team.”
“Other vendors lined up to support our solution, but none could work as quickly as Google.”
Product Management Lead, Healthtech company
COVID-19 Compresses Months of Work into Days
The telehealth offering needed to meet several requirements:
- Immediate market need. As COVID-19 appeared in the U.S., demand for telehealth visits surged. The company needed to launch its solution in a matter of days.
- Stringent security requirements. For healthcare, compliance with HIPAA guidelines is a must-have. The company also needed strong privacy, security and bandwidth from their chosen collaboration tool.
- Custom scheduling process. Meeting invites had to integrate with the healthtech company’s best-in-class SaaS platform and work with secure email and SMS templates.
- Varied user population. Patient demographics included senior citizens, low-income households and even non-native speakers; the meeting tool had to be intuitive for individuals at all levels of technical proficiency.
Telehealth had been on the company’s development roadmap for months prior to COVID-19. In fact, product management had prepared a business plan, created requirements and even found a willing nationwide partner to pilot the solution.
Then COVID-19 struck and made the traditional product launch playbook obsolete. Instead of months of careful planning, vendor selection, implementation and testing, they needed to go live within days.
Their biggest hurdles were choosing the right collaboration platform and integrating that tool’s meeting invites with their proprietary scheduling system. The healthtech company is known for its cloud-based platform and comprehensive analytics that help health insurance companies and providers make better decisions.
The primary users would be the healthtech company’s network of nurse practitioners, as well as consumers. The nurse practitioners conduct in-depth health assessments, gathering data that helps the full clinical team provide stronger care. The visits average 60 minutes in length.
As states implemented shelter-in-place orders, their in-person service offering was at risk. The entire organization—and their vendors—faced an extreme sense of urgency to launch telehealth.
“We had nurse practitioners going to a member’s home and doing a face-to-face encounter there,” the product management lead explained.
With patients at varying levels of technical proficiency, and across all age ranges and economic circumstances, an easy-to-use meeting platform was essential. To meet the stringent requirements of healthcare, it also needed strong security, good bandwidth and clear HIPAA compliance.
“We explored probably a dozen platforms,” the product management lead recalled. “The scalability and size of Google was one of the most attractive points; it gave us confidence.”
He added, “Google’s HIPAA and security posture was paramount, and we felt most comfortable with Google’s structure and end-to-end encryption.”
The healthtech company also praised the capacity available through Google.
“With Google, we don’t have to worry about server latency; we don’t have to worry that a million people are on the server at the same time, causing backlogs and interference with the audio and video quality,” he said.
“Agosto played an instrumental role in powering through this with us and being an extension of our team.”
Product Management Lead, Healthtech company
Agosto Helps Solve Custom Scheduling Requirements
Several solutions helped achieve their goals:
- Robust Google Meet platform. Google Meet impressed the company with its strong security, network bandwidth and easy-to-use features. It establishes a solid platform for future growth.
- Responsive experts. Working on tight timelines, Agosto helped design the right architecture and quickly navigate required agreements. Agosto’s extensive experience with Google Meet accelerated the development process.
- Unique meeting IDs. Google Meet creates a unique code for each telehealth session, which the healthtech company then uses to populate its scheduling system. This synergy creates a seamless customer experience.
Once the healthtech company settled on Google Meet, they contacted Agosto. With their intimate knowledge of the Google Meet solution, Agosto played a crucial role in tailoring the service to the telehealth company’s needs. Agosto’s knowledge of the solution and connections within Google cut significant time from the process.
“Agosto was a very nice bridge between the Google solution and our company,” the product management lead said. “They helped us navigate the security, privacy and CMS-compliance requirements we had to stand up quickly.”
In addition, Agosto helped the healthtech firm integrate meeting invites into their scheduling system. This was no small feat behind the scenes, but the result is a clean and seamless experience for the individual who will participate in the telehealth visit.
The company employs more than 1,000 nurse practitioners who conduct one-on-one patient visits on behalf of various insurance companies. Every part of the encounter—including the secure email or SMS message with the link to Google Meet—needs to reflect each insurance company’s specific brand.
Several potential vendors stumbled over this requirement.
“The code has to be unique to every encounter. It has to be a certain length,” the product management lead explained.
With Google Meet, the company leverages a unique code for each virtual health visit, which it then embeds into the scheduling system. The codes work within the constraints of SMS messages, and are even short enough for staff to read over the phone if consumers need an extra reminder.
“We really liked the unique code that’s being delivered for each video encounter,” the product management lead said. “We even liked the meet.google.com landing area.”
He added, “It’s something that, honestly, many Google competitors had some difficulty trying to package for us.”
Another Google Meet feature that stood out is closed-captioning. While it was not on their short-list of must-haves, it’s quickly become a valuable tool, as has the ability to bring a translator into the Google Meet session.
“Closed captioning lets the hearing impaired read along and follow what the provider is discussing,” he said. “We can also bring a translator into the conversation just by having them dial in. We’ve built our model around that.”
“I’d absolutely recommend Agosto. They understood our challenges and structured a pretty flawless implementation.”
Product Management Lead, Healthtech company
Rave Reviews After a High-Velocity Nationwide Launch
They achieved several meaningful results:
- Zero to launch in days. With Agosto’s help, the healthtech company made an impossible deadline possible. More importantly, they maintained a critical service for thousands of consumers when COVID-19 prevented many face-to-face encounters.
- Nationwide rollout. In a matter of weeks, customers across the country adopted their virtual health tool.
- Thousands of weekly telehealth visits. Nurse practitioners now conduct as many as five telehealth appointments each day using Google Meet as their collaboration technology.
- Impressive satisfaction levels. Staff and consumers find Google Meet easy to use. Satisfaction ratings are strong across the board.
Thanks to late nights, hard work and a nimble team, the company ultimately launched its virtual health solution just a few days after choosing Google Meet as its core technology.
“We started with a small client in the West, and were able to grow it to the nationwide footprint we’re at today,” the product management lead said.
He added, “With Agosto’s help, we rapidly pivoted and were able to adapt quickly.”
Response has been very positive, from both nurse practitioners and individual consumers.
“Google Meet is extremely intuitive,” the product management lead said.
The healthtech company also leverages their customer service team to ensure new users ramp up easily for their first virtual health visit. It’s a strategy that has paid off.
“We’ll call about 15 minutes before the appointment. We’ll do a technology check. It ultimately ensures everybody’s set to start their telehealth encounter,” he said.
Agosto’s work was instrumental in helping the company meet their timeline and establish a solution that’s architected correctly to facilitate additional growth and new functionality.
“Agosto understood our challenges and structured a pretty flawless implementation,” the product management lead said. “They brought some super-bright folks to the table. They were easy to work with and extremely responsive.”
“I’d absolutely recommend Agosto,” he added.
While it was not the careful launch they planned, the telehealth company sees a bright future for telehealth and is ramping up “exponentially.”
“The use cases are more relevant than ever,” the product management lead explained.
Leveraging Google Meet and building a custom solution has also created a definite competitive advantage.
“Telehealth with Google Meet has created a differentiator. It has not only allowed us to convert existing clients, it’s brought on new clients,” said the product management lead.
“It’s extremely meaningful that we can support our clients and provide access to care in this new modality,” he added.