Healthcare Insights & Trends Thought Leadership

What’s New and What’s Next? The Latest Healthcare Features and Predictions From Our Team

Here’s a roundup of what we’ve done in 2021 to help you streamline communications and improve healthcare delivery.
5 min read

Updated on September 22, 2022

Published on December 23, 2021

Healthcare year in review

At Zoom, we work closely with our healthcare and life sciences customers to understand the essential role that communication plays in patient care, research and development, operations, and more. With your insights, we improve our platform to create a more frictionless experience for healthcare professionals, patients, and families everywhere. 

We’ve seen how you’ve leaned on virtual care and collaboration as the challenges of the pandemic gave way to new ways of working, living, and delivering care. As we welcome a new year ahead, here’s a roundup of what we’ve done in 2021 to help you streamline communications and improve care delivery, and a look at where we see the industry headed in 2022.

New in 2021

We introduced some capabilities over the past year to help our healthcare customers and their patients communicate and connect more easily during telehealth appointments.

  • Waiting Room enhancements: Want to let your patient know the doctor will be with them shortly? We introduced two-way chat in the Waiting Room, so you can send chat messages to patients who are waiting, and they can respond with questions or comments. You can also upload a custom video to play while patients are in the Waiting Room — a perfect opportunity to highlight practice promotions or hospital news.
Waiting Room
  • Zoom’s integration with Cerner: If you use Cerner’s electronic health record (EHR) platform, our new integration is currently accepting beta customers and enables providers to join telehealth appointments, share test results, and complete documentation during the session — all from within the patient’s chart.
  • Epic integration device test on mobile: Our popular integration with Epic now allows patients to launch a pre-appointment device test on their mobile device to check their audio and video settings.
  • Mobile browser client: Patients can join secure telehealth appointments right from their mobile browser without downloading the Zoom app.
Mobile browser client
  • Post-meeting survey: Gather patient feedback immediately after virtual appointments by setting up a custom post-meeting survey to launch once the session ends (not available with EHR integrations). 

You’ll find the following features and capabilities helpful outside the virtual doctor’s office — in department meetings, presentations, reception areas, and even administration.

  • Smart Gallery: If your organization uses Zoom Rooms, this feature helps make hybrid meetings more equitable. Smart Gallery uses cutting-edge AI and hardware to create individual video feeds of in-meeting participants, creating an environment where remote colleagues can clearly see those who are in person.
  • Kiosk Mode: You can set up a virtual receptionist in your lobby to greet patients and direct them to their appointment while reducing the risk of exposure. 
Kiosk Mode
  • Enhanced slide control: Whether you’re speaking at a virtual tumor board or hospital budget meeting, you don’t have to interrupt your presentation to say, “Next slide, please.” Now, you can select more than one person to control advancing presentation slides.

Healthcare funding opportunities

In 2021, we saw even more funding opportunities available to help healthcare organizations modernize their communication systems, build their telehealth capabilities, and improve access to care. Some of these grant opportunities are still available! 

Take a look at our funding resources and hear from our grant partners at Learn Design Apply to see how your organization can leverage these funds to respond, recover, and build capacity for virtual and hybrid care delivery.

Looking ahead to 2022 (and beyond!)

What does 2022 hold in store for healthcare? First, we can predict continued innovation of digital applications in everything from care delivery to medical training. As we saw at Zoomtopia 2021, innovators in this space are developing amazing capabilities like deviceless screening to measure things like pulse and respiration without monitors or medical instruments — by using audio, video, and other technologies available on a person’s mobile phone. 

Zoomtopia 2021
At Zoomtopia 2021, Ash Damle, founder and CEO of Healiom, a Zoom partner, showed how Healiom uses video and audio to assist with pre-visit screening.

Innovations like this could lead us toward a digital-first healthcare system where patients can have even more ways to connect with their care team and manage their health from home, without compromising on quality of care.

Finally, decentralization will become a major theme for health and life sciences organizations. Decentralized clinical trials are growing in popularity, enabling pharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations (CROs) to untether their research from specific trial sites, reach a more diverse pool of patients, and provide a more accessible patient experience. Not only that, decentralized business models allow healthcare and life sciences organizations to collaborate on a global scale and work with the best and brightest minds, not just the closest.

Communication is the backbone of all this innovation. Across the continuum of care, I expect video and collaboration technologies to be part of how we improve care delivery, develop life-saving drugs and devices, and enhance patient experience moving forward.

Visit the Zoom for Healthcare page to learn more about how healthcare and life sciences organizations are using Zoom.

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