May 14, 2020
The spread of COVID-19 is reshaping traditional healthcare services and how medical officials interact with patients. Now Twilio, the cloud communications program, is teaming up with ZocDoc, the online medical booking service, to power its new video consultation service.
Susan Collins, the global head of healthcare services at Twilio, told Cheddar Thursday she believes telehealth is here to stay and will continue to accelerate even after the coronavirus pandemic subsides.
"There are certain parts of the country where we are seeing pre-COVID in-person visits close to back to normal at this point, and yet there's an additional 20, 30, and 40 percent of volume which is happening on telehealth," she said.
The service on ZocDoc is open to all medical providers who want to sign up and begin virtual appointments. Twilio is also offering three free months for healthcare customers, educators, and nonprofit organizations that sign up before June 30.
"I think it's a great opportunity, particularly for our underserved population — folks who have maybe difficulties getting to a healthcare facility, perhaps they have childcare issues or they have difficulty taking off from work," she said. "So, having the ability to reach a medical professional from the comfort of your living room is a great convenience."
Even before the pandemic, telehealth was a focus for Twilio according to Collins who said the company was able to get services up-to-speed quickly to meet the increased demand for virtual healthcare appointments.
"We pride ourselves on being able to enable the builders of the world to improve customer engagement," she said. "Obviously, during a pandemic, healthcare is a critical service. We are very pleased to be able to scale up quickly to meet that demand."