Tag Archives: Medical Kiosks

Consumer Service on the Cutting Edge: Virtual Customer Assistance

In 2014, Amazon introduced Mayday, a video chat feature aimed at supporting users of the company’s Fire Phone and Kindle Fire devices.  Customer support via video is not widespread yet, but many analysts believe Mayday could be a game-changing sign of things to come.

Video Chat:  Today, customers expect help to be just a click away.  Recognizing this trend, companies like Best Buy have encouraged their employees to answer tech questions using social media channels such as Twitter.  Similarly, texting live with customer service agents is becoming routine these days.  Video takes this kind of instantaneous customer service to a whole new level.

Product support is becoming multichannel; customers want tech-help through whatever platform or device is handy to them.  Younger consumers, in particular, want their problems solved in real-time.  Video chat offer the possibility of a simpler, but also richer form of customer service experience.  However, getting face-to-face help is just the begining of a more extensive interactive support service.  For example, Mayday includes a screen sharing feature, which allows customer service representatives to see the customer’s display.  Furthermore, both parties can use point and draw tools to highlight helpful information or instructions.

Digital signDigital Signage and Wayfinding:  Digital signage represents a quantum evolution of the traditional sign.  Today, corporate buildings, hospitals, government agencies, campuses, museums and many other organizations are utilizing digital wayfinding maps and interactive kiosks to help guide users through their facilities.  Using touchscreen technology, these displays have interactive maps, video tour guides and special announcement features, which help users to navigate their way.  Additionally, these digital signage systems often incorporate QR tags and SMS options so that directions and other pertinent information can be sent to visitors’ smartphones.

Video Kiosk Check-in:  Digital kiosks are interactive computer platforms that allow users to service themselves.  Popular at malls, airports and car rental agencies, video kiosks are now being used to supplement healthcare staff in many medical facilities.  For example, kiosks are now used in hospitals ambulatory environments and emergency rooms.  They can be used to smooth the check-in process, screen patients, collect payments and much more.  In fact, today’s medical kiosks can do far more than just collect patient information from insurance and ID cards; they often include video linkage to care providers, monitoring equipment, wayfinding information for patients and data analytic capabilities for providers.

Undoubtedly, kiosks offer cost-saving benefits.  However, their primary purpose is to improve customer service and satisfaction.  Medical organizations, for instance, have found that kiosks reduce patient wait time while improving convenience and medical privacy.

Video communications are taking customer service to an entirely new level.  Today, consumers expect organizations and brands to address product and service inquires expeditiously and through whatever channels the digital user finds convenient.  Increasingly, this means connecting to consumers via their mobile devices, digital signage and IM chats.

Video, digital wayfinding and computer kiosks are just a few of the high-tech methods organizations are utilizing to streamline and improve the customer’s experience with their companies.  In particular, providing face-to-face customer service via video means companies can combine cutting-edge technology and the human touch.  As it happens, using these forms of video assistance is a great way of enhancing the consumer’s experience with your company and building brand loyalty.


#1:  http://www.citeworld.com/article/2378580/sales-marketing-tech/mayday-yet-another-customer-service-channel-is-upon-us.html

#2: http://www.visix.com/interactive-wayfinding-digital-signage.html

#3:  http://www.kioskcts.com/healthcare-kiosks/

Bob Higginbotham

About Bob Higginbotham

Bob Higginbotham, CTS-I, CTS-D, is the Avidex National Manager of Healthcare AV. Bob has spent his 30 year career in leadership positions in the AV industry including extensive design and build work in healthcare facilities. He owned and operated a successful AV business in Texas with multiple offices in several cities where he managed a staff of over 100 employees. Bob has served as a technical consultant for a major AV manufacturer, led the technical sales team for a national video conferencing provider and provided technology auditing services for several private education facilities. He has a unique working knowledge of audiovisual technology as well as multiple certifications in audio engineering, acoustics, AV design, CQT system commissioning and video transmission systems. Bob holds a BA in communications and has recently served as board chair for a large private school. He brings his years of technical knowledge and leadership experience to Avidex where he leads the national healthcare AV team. Contact Bob at bobh@avidexav.com

The Wait is Over: The Future of Waiting Rooms

crowded waiting roomWaiting in the doctor’s office is about as entertaining as watching paint dry, but somehow it is never quite as relaxing.  All facetiousness aside, few things are more frustrating than sitting in a doctor’s office until the physician is ready to see you.  Today, thanks to technology, patients need not spend hours of precious time reading out-of-date magazines in their caregiver’s reception area.  Instead, innovative technologies and mobile apps are helping patients take the wait out of the waiting room by allowing them to get in a virtual queue so that they don’t have to waste time in a lobby or line before seeing their health provider.  Here’s how these tech tools are working to improve patient care and satisfaction:

Mobile Devices:  Today, an app called QLess puts patients on a virtual queue and lets them see at a glance their projected wait time.  The program also provides periodic text and voice message updates, which lets health consumers know more precisely when their provider will be ready to see them.  As a result, individuals can get a cup of coffee, run errands, or hang around the house until they know their doctor will be available.

Of course, if a patient expects to be delayed, then they can always send their providers an update via the app too.  The result: less waiting time for patients; and fewer walkaways, no-shows and empty time slots for health providers.

Physicians are realizing many other benefits from virtual waiting rooms.  For instance, in an era of social media and the empowered customer, health providers recognize that consumer satisfaction translates into higher online ratings, which undoubtedly effect the attraction of new clients (and the bottom-line).   Furthermore, by offering mobile apps and Internet–based services, many organizations can convert digital users and website visitors into regular in-clinic consumers.

Medicine Going Mobile: Care providers are also using telemedicine carts, mobile medical vans and video conferencing to connect patients with physicians prior to or as an alternative to face-to-face care.  Telemedicine – such as virtual consultations via videoconferencing – is gaining traction.   An additional trend gaining momentum is wayfinding via digital signage, where hospitals use digital signs – often incorporating video — that help visitors navigate medical facilities.

Digital Kiosks:  Digital kiosks are another option health providers are utilizing to help cut down patient wait time.  These self-serve video and computer platforms have proven popular in many environments, such as malls.  Today, care providers are using them in reception areas, ambulatory settings and even emergency rooms where they are used to facilitate patient check-in, screening and bill collecting.

Virtual waiting platforms help providers optimize workflow, reduce paperwork and improve medical care, all of which leads to better health results and higher patient satisfaction.  Further, virtual queuing and telemedicine apps come with another positive side effect: they can provide much useful information on patient behavior, patterns and outcomes.  For instance, data analytics gained through health apps can help identify patient preferences, wait-time, caregiver efficiency and many other important metrics.

All in all, virtual waiting rooms are a win-win for both patients and providers alike because they allow everyone to use their time and resources more efficiently.  The electronic waiting room may not be a cure for every ill, but it is a technological wonder that is improving the lives of many health consumers.


#1:  http://electronichealthreporter.com/take-the-wait-out-of-the-waiting-room-how-mobile-queue-solutions-increase-patient-satisfaction/

#2:  http://electronichealthreporter.com/take-the-wait-out-of-the-waiting-room-how-mobile-queue-solutions-increase-patient-satisfaction/

Jim Colquhoun

About Jim Colquhoun

Jim Colquhoun is the Chief Technologist for Avidex. Jim brings an exceptional record of management and operational experience, as well as expertise in the design and integration of communications, AV, and broadcast systems. Jim can be reached at jcolquhoun@avidexav.com