The Medical Futurist Newsletter Special Edition
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Anyone who spent weeks or even days in a hospital knows how slow time goes by in a medical setting. The US-based start-up, ZOTT, aims to provide entertainment for patients waiting to get better and to fill the long hours of being bed-bound with a source for amusement. The media distribution platform offers patients, their families and also caregivers new forms of entertainment from live streaming through curated educational content until gaming for any hospital community on any device. The private, for-profit subsidiary of GameChanger Charity was created to advance its mission to improve the lives of patients around the world through technology and innovation.

The Medical Futurist talked to Taylor Carol, Chief Strategy Officer of ZOTT about their platform, their challenges and the future of patient engagement.

What's the story behind ZOTT?

Carol: “ZOTT goes back little over 12 years ago now, when being 11 years old, I was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Thankfully, my parents and I really resolved to fight and were able to try an experimental treatment. Fortunately, I was able to beat my cancer. But that battle ended up lasting more than five years. I was in the hospital for roughly five years and for six months I was put in an isolation unit, where no one could enter, no one could exit.

Throughout my entire hospitalization, I was really aware of how much the little technology that my parents brought into the hospital impacted my life and how little technology there was in the hospital environment for patient engagement and how much we should and could change that because patients deserve better. That’s what inspired us to create ZOTT.”

How do care providers see this innovation in the hospital space?

Carol: “Without speaking too much for them, what we see is overwhelming positivity. In the course of working with hospitals, we haven’t received a single no yet. They resonate with this tech due to personalization, the broad audience and no need for hardware. So first, ZOTT curates all of the different forms of content from live TV throughout Hollywood movies to live streams or gaming for age appropriateness and tailors it for each and every individual user.

Secondly, care providers love the fact that it addresses both patients and family members. Thirdly, ZOTT cuts out cumbersome and unnecessary hardware sets. Patient engagement systems take a long time and massive costs to install in a hospital, but ZOTT is cloud-based. We had the fastest installation in a hospital – in 15 minutes, and that’s because we utilize existing Wi-Fi infrastructure.”

What are the greatest challenges in relation to your innovation?

Carol: “We’ve learned that each hospital is a massive ecosystem of different care providers, stakeholders, clinicians who are all working to build different forms of technology or infrastructure into the hospital ecosystem to make patients’ lives better. And some individuals are understandably nervous or uncertain when new technologies come into the hospitals. It can be challenging and intimidating to implement new tech. So, one of the initial challenges is to show people that this tech meant not to destroy what they built into the hospital environment, but it’s meant to supplement patients’ lives and take patient engagement to the highest level.”

Your platform runs on hospital Wi-Fi infrastructure. How do you ensure network security?

Carol: “We are incredibly diligent and focused on patient security, especially hospital information security. There are a few targeted ways to ameliorate that. One is we build on the AWS environment which is entirely HIPAA-compliant, and with our Wi-Fi infrastructure network in a hospital we either work on the Guest network which is already made public, or we build a ZOTT Wi-Fi network, so the infrastructure can be effectively segmented.”

Do you have a vision about patient engagement for the future?

Carol: “We have two key visions being a cloud-first methodology and the hyper-personalization of content. When I was in the hospital, facilities were really struggling to implement hardware, however, currently, we are at the precipice of technology moving from the physical equipment to the cloud. From devices to hardware-free approaches. This is what I see as the future of patient engagement – moving away from hardware to software.

The second thing is hyper-personalization. Often times a service provider offers a catalog of movies or linear TV, and while that’s great, it’s not reflective of what consumer consumption looks like now. Today, we live in a hyper-personalized world where you see videos curated to your preferences and your viewing history. That is precisely what ZOTT also does in the sense that we create original and exclusive content for hospitalized communities what you can see in the live streams.”

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I hope you enjoyed this week's issues. If you have any suggestions, recommendations for The Medical Futurist team, do not hesitate to reach out!
Kind regards,
Dr. Bertalan Mesko
The Medical FuturistSM
© The Medical Futurist 2018 

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