How Medtech Innovator Apria Healthcare Ramped Up Virtual Engagement During the Pandemic

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Before the pandemic, the process for selling and servicing medical devices was consistent. Consistently in person, that is. Flash forward to 2020. Many medical technology companies turned to digital tools to connect virtually as they navigated physical distancing rules. It was an immediate hit. Consider that 47% of doctors who preferred in-person visits before COVID-19 now prefer virtual support or fewer in-person interactions.

Now, Medtech organizations are looking to the future. As they build on learnings from the past year, they are figuring out the right balance of virtual and in-person engagements in a hybrid world.

Helping patients make the most of their home-based respiratory equipment

Apria Healthcare provides home-based oxygen therapy and other respiratory services to more than two million patients. Early in the pandemic, many of the company’s respiratory therapists weren’t able to visit patients in-person to help them learn and use their equipment.

Apria needed a new virtual technology solution that was easy for everyone to use — employees and patients alike — and didn’t require users to download an app or log in to a new website.

"We wanted to make sure that our Apria users initiate the call and video by using email or text. That was the one key requirement."

- Manisha Naik Senior IT Director, Apria

Apria found a virtual option that was simple for anyone to use by partnering with SightCall, an enterprise-grade video cloud platform that integrates with Salesforce.

"We are very happy with the integration ... Our patients are taking our calls and they’re using our tool. [Our technicians] are able to solve their issues ... without visiting the patient at home."

- Manisha Naik Senior IT Director, Apria

The out-of-the-box, cloud solution allowed them to hit the ground running in a matter of weeks. And with an intuitive interface and easy-to-understand workflow, Apria’s respiratory technicians quickly got the hang of the new system. They started helping patients operate and troubleshoot their continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines and get readings on non-invasive ventilation (NIV) machines through video calls. One of Apria’s respiratory therapists explained that the new system helped them to build trust virtually without an in-home interaction.

It also revolutionized the company’s customer experience. Consider the case of one Apria customer who called in asking to return his CPAP machine because he couldn’t figure out how to use it. The agent suggested a video call and after just 10 minutes, the patient felt confident using the machine that night and ultimately kept the product.

Find out more about Apria’s shift to virtual visits.

Take the next step for your virtual sales transformation

Medtech companies that have oriented themselves around a virtual customer experience have innovated faster during this time ensuring patients get full value from their medical device.

As many medical device sales and service reps return to work, delivering a connected virtual selling and support experience is even more important to master. Are you prepared to give customers what they want from anywhere? If not, it could be the right time to consider how you will sell and service virtually now and in the future. Talk to one of our experts today.

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