Pandemic Forces Agencies To Rethink Employee Experience

slew of industry event cancellations and delays — such as the live network upfrontsAdvertising Week Europe, or the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity — is forcing marketers and their agencies to rethink how to best work during a pandemic. With most agency holding companies deferring travel and enacting work-from-home policies, the spread of COVID-19 presents an opportunity for agencies to condition their workplaces and client engagements for more frequent use of collaboration technology, remote teams, and flexible work hours. This will test their flexibility, since many agencies increasingly work in agile pods as part of multiweek sprints that depend on face-to-face interaction. We are actively tracking the impact of COVID-19 across industries and on the employee experience. Follow #pandemicEX and @forrester on Twitter to get updates as they are posted.

COVID-19 Spread Will Drive Hockey Stick Adoption Of Virtual Care

On Friday, March 13, President Trump declared a national emergency in response to the coronavirusopening access to $50 billion. The President authorized the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to waive healthcare regulations to allow hospitals and healthcare workers the flexibility needed to scale telehealth (virtual care) nationally. Virtual care providers have already seen a surge in visits over the past week due to virtual care’s ability to serve vulnerable patients in their homes, mitigate strain on healthcare resources, and calm anxieties of citizens quarantined in their homes. While virtual care physicians can’t test for COVID-19, they will help triage patients to prioritize testing and treatment. Major healthcare retailers (CVS, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart) are in talks with the Trump administration to stand up drive-through testing centers, some of which are open already. Tech giants are joining the effort, with Alphabet lending a hand through Verily by launching a pilot website in the Bay Area to help symptomatic citizens self-triage, with plans to expand over time. Forrester expects that this spike in virtual care adoption will have a lasting effect.

Speaking of tech-driven healthcare innovations . . .

Incremental Innovation On Platforms May Be Just What The Doctor Ordered

Incremental innovation of commonplace platforms can have a big impact. Take drive-throughs, for instance. Long relied on by fast food and coffee purveyors, the drive-through infrastructure of lanes, headsets, pharmacy systems, and service windows is now a critical platform for many pharmacies. Today, it enables speedier COVID-19 testing in South Korea and some states and allows sick people to pick up their medication without risking the health of other shoppers and staffOther incremental innovations to consider: combining telemedicine with digital thermometers, which increases the scale and speed of remote patient triage or combining an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor to form a platform with a sense-and-respond insulin delivery system based on predictive analytics. In these cases, incremental innovation on top of an existing platform — sometimes in the form of a software upgrade — creates real breakthroughs. We want to learn more about your platform innovation pipeline. What platforms do you have in place that could serve as a foundation for new capabilities?

An App That Minimizes Medical Wait Times Can Help Prevent The Spread Of COVID-19

DocClocker, an app designed to reduce time spent in medical waiting rooms, has a new use case: helping prevent exposure to COVID-19. Created and funded by practicing medical physicians, patients can see real-time wait times and avoid sitting in crowded and potentially sick waiting rooms. To take things further, healthcare clinics and hospitals that tie in insights from their internet-of-things sensor edge computing analysis could separate waiting patients based on whether they are waiting for COVID-19 or other easily transferable illnesses. These kinds of tech-driven innovations are improving existing healthcare services and have the potential to dramatically change healthcare standards in the future.