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Flexibility in Telehealth Software – Deep White is the New Black

The question of flexibility is central to life. Being able to adapt to changing circumstances is quite often the only difference between being alive or not. Thanks to our extremely complex nervous system, which enables us to survive under almost any conditions, we, humans, have populated the entire Earth in a very short time, a geological instant, in fact. No other large animal has ever come close to our success. Obviously, the capacity for adaptation is extremely costly in evolutionary currency.

The question of flexibility is central to business as well, the latter being a microcosm of life (cut-throat competition, survival of the fittest, to name a few common themes). Executives have to solve this conundrum on a daily basis. It comes in various forms: what should be fixed and what could be flowing, what to preserve and what to discard, what should be in-house and what could be outsourced.

Flexibility is not a discrete value, it is a continuum. Let’s say the leftmost extremity is the zero ability to adapt. It has its pros and cons. If you focus on just one single product, you will very likely produce it at very low cost (due to economies of scale) and with higher than average quality (due to perfecting it in time). Sushi apprentices, for example, spend about five years with their masters (itamae), before being allowed to prepare just the rice for their customers. The main con is that such rigidity makes you extremely vulnerable: a new competitor or a sudden and unexpected shift in consumer demand can wipe you out in a day (or, worse, many agonizing days in a row). What if people suddenly stop eating sushi due to, say, radioactive contamination in the ocean, and you have spent your last five years just washing rice? (you are not doomed, Chinese restaurants are usually not that hygiene intensive and demanding of kitchen staff).

The rightmost extremity, then, is infinite flexibility. It gives you the opportunity to explore multiple markets and periodically select only winners and cull losers. It is like playing natural selection with you being Nature herself. It sounds unwise, though, to produce rubber ducks that double up as spaceships (wait until Elon Musk hears about it). While the last example might be a bit extreme, the point is that there must be some core that all your business activities gravitate around. It could be defined by your competencies, your preferences, your sense of duty or just by pure, unadulterated chance. Most real-world companies avoid extremities and choose to position themselves somewhere along the continuum.

Finally, the question of flexibility is central to white-label products (correct, they are a microcosm of business itself). In the past, what everybody was doing was simple: take the ready-made stuff, slap your brand on top of it and start making money. This is the classical, purest form of white-label as it existed in the pre-tech age. Indeed, it exists at this very moment, even in extremely complex industries. 

Nowadays it looks like everybody is jumping on the telemedicine bandwagon. However, a little research demonstrates that the actual solutions offer little more than a simple landing page with the new brand in the upper left corner. The little more usually comes in the form of analytics, subdomain or another trivial service, widely available for free.

Software, however, offers the possibility of going much further than that. Indeed, it can go the entire spectrum from 0 to 100% customization (maybe not in 3.4 seconds, but still in a reasonably short period). As a non-physical entity, it is much more flexible than traditional industry wares. It is easier to rewrite code than to change an entire assembly line. Producing and selling software without the ability to adapt it to the customer needs is like selling shoes without shoelaces. You could still wear them, but it is a lot less convenient. The need for customization is even more apparent when we are talking about extremely complex software like a telemedicine platform.

At Healee we believe that if possibilities exist, they must be made use of. If you have been blessed with the gift of flexibility, you should take full advantage of it. If only because many are not that lucky (like the aircraft pilot or nuclear physicist, to name just a few). This is why we offer our white-label platform as a fully bespoke telemedicine solution. It is a novel practice that we specifically coined a name for – deep white-label.

Ok, it is not completely bespoke. Healee White Label contains a kernel that comprises all processes that are deemed indispensable in telemedicine. For example, medical data is extremely sensitive and this is why it is end-to-end encrypted. No discussion. Even if for some reason you didn’t want it to be (you are mad, is the first thing that springs to mind), we probably wouldn’t do it. It is extremely likely that a telehealth solution would need videoconferencing, so we have that built-in. It is up to you, though, whether you will just stream it, or you will record it for further reference, whether you will use it for multidisciplinary consultations or for assisting patients’ extended care teams.

We can also accommodate patient referrals (with all the patient data), if it is necessary for the smooth functioning of your organization. Your patient forms differ from everybody else’s? No problem, we will incorporate them in your own telehealth solution. Most importantly, Healee White Label can seamlessly integrate with the EHR software you are already using, providing clinical data interoperability. And this is not plain talking, we have done all these already for our current customers.

When the pandemic struck 18 months ago, no one was prepared. Even Microsoft, whose founder is often credited with supernatural precognition, started ramping up their telemedicine services only recently. In April, for example, they spent 20 billion to acquire Nuance – “a trusted cloud and AI software leader representing decades of accumulated healthcare and enterprise AI experience”. So what happened after the onset of Covid-19 was that each and every supplier of medical services started scrambling for telemedicine solutions. The market was growing so quickly that speed was preferred over everything else. This led to widespread digital fatigue as giant piles of software were installed that needed another software to work properly that needed yet another and so on.

Things have settled a little bit since then. We are entering the stage of value-based care where quality will be sought after (more on that in the next blog post) and flexibility will be crucial again. All the low-hanging fruit, born by the explosion in demand for telemedicine, has already been picked. Survival of the fittest is starting to kick in. In order to provide high quality for their patients, suppliers of healthcare will need technological solutions that fit exactly their workflows. Simple white-label will not work. Plug and play in healthcare belongs to antiquity. Flexible tech providers will work hand in hand with health providers to reach levels of integration unseen in the industry so far. Customization will go incredibly deep. Deep as in deep white. 

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