Solving for hard things: How Medifé built stable telehealth services amidst a global crisis
Manuel M. Allegue
Welcome to Solving for Hard Things, a new series that showcases why business and technical partners are one of the most important components of any successful innovation initiative — often just as important as the technology itself. In our latest edition, we hear from Manuel M. Allegue, CEO of Zentricx, a technology consultancy based in Buenos Aires and Madrid. Here he discusses how the company worked with Medifé, a large Argentine healthcare provider, to help it deliver new, more reliable medical services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Business continuity and evolving to meet your customers’ needs are key to nearly all industries, but for healthcare, they’re vital. Reliability is essential for open communication between patients, physicians, and providers, while also ensuring that they can integrate any new treatments and technologies. Increasingly, the basic functioning of most facilities — look at the fallout from all the recent cyber attacks — is dependent on secure, stable technology.
So what do you do when the unexpected happens?
It’s a question confronting most every healthcare organization since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the challenges coming in waves like the virus itself. Medifé, a nonprofit Argentinian healthcare provider, had invested heavily in telehealth to serve its more than 320,000 members. While such services were essential in the earliest days of the pandemic, the clamor for care quickly became its own issue.
"During the most critical lockdown phases, we had more than double the number of remote appointments as usual, with monthly peaks of 30,000 appointments." Leonardo Lamas, CEO of Medifé, said.
To remain ahead of the curve throughout the COVID surge, Medifé wanted to find ways to make telemedicine available to patients who traditionally might not have access. They reached out to Google Cloud and my company, Zentricx, to create and migrate to a highly scalable platform that could keep up with the increased demand.
If your organization is looking to boost your reliability while addressing market demand, consider the steps we took to help Medifé with their transformation.
- Reliable, affordable scale – Bringing patient, physician, and provider data together makes collaboration run smoother, but it can overwhelm traditional platforms. Cloud-based infrastructure solutions such as Firebase for app development, BigQuery data warehousing, and the collaboration tools of Google Workspace helped Medifé scale on-demand without extra infrastructure costs. These nearly limitless, pay-as-you-go services on cloud can provide just the services required, whatever the changing needs become — a new reality in our post-COVID world.
- Upskilling technical talent – When any delays can become real problems, making a smooth transition is crucial to maintaining continuity. This often starts with a reliable partner like Zentricx that can help manage your migration, as well as providing training and support so your developers and admins are better prepared for the challenges that inevitably arise.
- Design for the future – At first, the challenge was finding a way to drive adoption of telehealth. When it caught on, the new goal became finding ways to expand its use and usefulness. Having a roadmap in place, with the best cloud tools to impliment along the way, is important in order to continue driving innovation without sacrificing reliability.
Together, we helped Medifé facilitate more than 300,000 remote appointments during the initial response to the pandemic, and they now regularly handle 30,000 a month. A big part of that is possible because of their high platform reliability.
If you’re looking to drive reliability and meet market demands, these tactics can help you too. Scalability, collaboration, and future planning can help keep your business going even when everything else is unpredictable.
Want to solve for hard things? To learn more about how partners help organizations make the most of Google Cloud, you can visit our partner page.