The Interview: Lloyd Price Advises Companies on How to Get Through the Pandemic and What's to Come

Lloyd Price, Co-Founder of Zesty, subsidiary of Induction Healthcare, talks to Julie Pelta from DataArt about the transformation of the industry in response to the pandemic, technology challenges in healthcare, and the new way companies budget and execute IT projects in 2021.
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By Julie Pelta
VP of Sales and Innovation
The Interview: Lloyd Price Advises Companies on How to Get Through the Pandemic and What's to Come

Julie: How did your company get through the challenges of the pandemic? What was your role to support the company?

Lloyd: We got through the pandemic by quickly organizing the ability for our staff to work from home, investing in project management tools, keeping the team up to date every few weeks with regular “town hall’ meetings and enabling flexible working hours. 

My role to support the company mainly involved communications and commercial roles. Organizing regular updates to the team, external communication to shareholders, product demos to potential new clients. 

Julie: How are you keeping up with the latest trends and movements in the healthcare industry? What challenges do you see relating to tech in this space?

Lloyd: Yes, I try to keep up to date with the latest trends in the healthcare industry and specifically digital health sub sector. The challenges I see relating to tech in this space are adoption, governance and payment.  

Adoption of products and services in healthcare is a major challenge, new entrants often struggle or fail to breakthrough and generate regular users due to a lack of product/market fit, friction with existing workflows and pathways. 

Governance is always a challenge, healthcare has a lot of data protection, information governance and access policies which need to be adhered to before a new product or service can be launched. Startups in particular find the challenges around governance a steep hill to climb and underestimate the complexities involved when working with clinical, operational and multi-disciplinary care teams. 

Payment is a growing challenge in healthcare, tariffs are evolving to support digital solutions, however many new products have to prove themselves first and build business cases based on evidence and impact before securing contracts with providers. 

Julie: In your opinion, how has healthcare industry transformed in response to the pandemic?

Lloyd: I think the healthcare industry has responded   to the pandemic very well, a few sub sectors of digital health such as telemedicine, remote monitoring, patient communications, AI focused on machine learning and imaging have all advanced exponentially as demand and support from clinicians reaches a peak.  

The healthcare industry appears to have accepted the benefits of digital solutions and new technologies to the point that many believe there is ‘no turning back’ from the current operating environment. Technology has finally broken through in many areas and proven itself to be a valuable resource on the frontlines.   

Julie: Do you think healthcare industry is now more disruption-resistant and ready for another hit? Why?

Lloyd: I think the healthcare industry has slowly become disruption-resistant in the last few years; the pandemic has definitely accelerated the positive trend as technology plays a growing part in delivering care. In terms of another hit, I don’t think it will be one big phase, more likely to be several smaller phases.   

The key reasons why healthcare is much more likely to embrace change which leads to disruption are evidence based, scientifically proven, data quality and operational effectiveness. Providers will change their systems and processes much quicker in the next two years compared to the last two years because they can reference evidence-based solutions, learn from scientifically proven case studies, access better quality data sourced from apps, devices and patients.  

Julie: What changes do you anticipate for how organisations in your sector will plan, budget and execute IT projects?

Lloyd: I anticipate organisations will change the way they budget and execute IT projects in 2021 by planning for more certainty and locking in key resources more and more in advance. Businesses will look for as much certainty as possible heading into next year and no doubt want to remove as many unknowns as possible in order to accurately forecast to manage internal and external resources. 

The ongoing trend for remote working will no doubt increase the use of external IT resources. Companies are likely to budget for smaller offices and shared working spaces, preferring to invest more in people and delivery from a range of specialists they can assign to projects as and when they need to, avoiding the risk of having permanent staff on payroll with no work to do. 

Julie: What should leaders be aware of especially now, in the time of pandemic?

Lloyd: I think leaders should be aware of the need for regular updates to their teams delivered as honest, open and engaging forms of communication. Staff can feel anxious and isolated working remotely every day and often disconnected from many parts of a business if there is no need for them to chat to colleagues or contribute to a project. 

Leaders should also engage their teams with discussions involving the office, gathering feedback on people’s preferences for remote working, hybrid working models. Looking ahead into 2021 staff often have questions based on the office, should they buy annual train tickets, tube passes, budget for a gym near the office and other day to day decisions. 

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