Healthy Response: GE Healthcare Sells with Epiphan Pearl2
GE Healthcare Aus/NZ turns to streaming for training and sales of ultrasound equipment.
The GE Healthcare clinical support team has taken some Covid lemons and are making live streaming lemonade. The ANZ team now have three Epiphan Pearl2 units at the heart of its remote commissioning, education and support strategy, and their healthcare clients love it.
Adrian Way and Ben Edwards head the ultrasound and respirator segments respectively and rely on the Pearl2 to conduct live demonstrations, webinars and education packages.
“For a long time, the market has been conditioned to having on-site application support,” explains Adrian Way. “And it’s very difficult to change that mindset.”
But sometimes needs must. Some two years ago GE Healthcare’s New Zealand team member was spending days and days in a plane flying the length of the islands supporting product.
“We set up a Pearl2 in her house, and started using it for follow-up and education.”
The experiment was so successful — saving time and money without diminishing the client experience — a second Pearl2 was purchased to take care of some Australian sessions.
“It meant an hour session with the Pearl as opposed to sending someone to the Northern Territory, for example. We would replicate their ultrasound machine setup and conduct the session remotely.”
With the remote sessions showing their value to GE Healthcare (reduced travel costs, improved work/life balance for employees) and clients (more timely response to calls for support), and with Adrian, Ben, and their teams getting their groove on, GE was able to continue selling and supporting its product during the Covid shutdowns.
“Customers still need to see equipment and they need to purchase equipment during the restrictions,” continues Adrian Way. “We have probably done a dozen remote demonstrations with a high success rate — including some sales we may not have even got a chance to demonstrate to.”
The Pearl2s have also more than proved their worth in post-install followup support.
“We installed two high-end cardiac ultrasound machines and a laptop ultrasound machine to a non-GE user in New Zealand,” says Adrian Way. “Our New Zealand employee supported those machines remotely. She was using the Pearl non-stop for days but it meant we could get those three systems bedded in remotely, for clients who had no previous history or familiarity with the GE product.
“In the first eight weeks of Covid we did 55 different customer-facing support activities with the Pearl, whether it be demonstrations or education followup. So it has saved us a significant amount of money and up to 17 days away from home for our team.”
The Epiphan Pearl2 has also allowed Ben and Adrian’s teams to be super-responsive:
“The Pearl helps with immediacy,” explains Adrian Way. “So as opposed to putting off a customer request for a week, two weeks or three weeks, because we can’t get someone to go to site, we’ve got a remote solution. We had a situation on the last day of a financial quarter when a customer rang our office at midday wanting to buy an ultrasound machine ASAP, but they needed to ‘see it first’. So we did a Pearl session for them at 1:30 and they purchased two ultrasound machines at 3pm!”
How’s it been better than a Skype call? Ben Edwards explains:
“The quality of the production is streets ahead. We take three inputs: an IP camera (a Minrray UV580), the PC input for PowerPoint presentations and the output from the ultrasound itself. We’ve programmed positions for the IP video camera so we can electronically pan and zoom to particular positions that best demonstrate the use of the machine.”
“Touches like having a picture-in-picture feature where we have our camera feed inset in a Powerpoint mean our clients remain connected to us during those presentations,” adds Adrian Way. “It’s about developing a rapport and it’s important they see your facial expressions even when we’re referencing slides. The Pearl gives us those options.”
The Pearl’s recording feature has been a real bonus for GE Healthcare as well. As Adrian explains: “We’ve made a number of training videos using the Pearl. For example, we have a number of remote outback hospital sites where they’re supported by a fly-in/fly-out clinicians — it might be a different doctor every month. Naturally, we can’t run on-site training for every different doctor every month, but we can provide a training video that allows the doctor to get familiar with the ultrasound unit while they’re flying in.”
“We’ve recently run webinars on infants and emergency care during Covid for patient monitoring and alarm management also,” adds Ben Edwards. “They’ve been recorded using the Pearl and they’re all available on the GE Healthcare website. The detail and resolution of the picture is great; the audio is great, and we’ll get 200 or more people registering for something like that.”
BEST FOOT FORWARD
THE Covid crisis has shown us that business, training and education can be done remotely. But it has also shown us that not all remote communication or presentations are equal. And when you’re supporting product that costs tens of thousands of dollars, a standard Zoom call is just not going to cut it. GE Healthcare has ramped up the quality of its communication appreciably with the Epiphan Pearl2, all in-house without extra assistance. And it’s paying dividends.