Now is a pivotal time for all businesses, but especially so for healthcare organizations. The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation like never before. From telehealth to new non-traditional delivery models, it’s clear the future of healthcare is digital.

Consumers now expect a more personalized and digital care experience because of the pandemic, and will demand better reliability, ease of use, and the utmost privacy. Providers must be agile to meet patient demand and to counter projected financial losses of $323B over the past year. And they must do it in a way that’s secure.

To help our customers adapt to the ever-shifting healthcare landscape, we’ve developed the CX Americas Healthcare Practice, a center of excellence for creating and delivering healthcare-specific solutions. This practice puts our technology and healthcare expertise under a single umbrella, augmented with partner and health system integrations, orchestrations, and services.

The team is a collaboration of experts across the Americas region—all tasked with helping our healthcare customers achieve secure and measurable outcomes.

Melissa Owens is our CX Americas Healthcare Practice Lead. She comes to Cisco from Ascension, where she was the company’s regional technology officer. While there, she built IT strategy and delivered solutions across 17 hospitals. Melissa is working closely with her team to develop customized healthcare solutions and is collaborating with industry leaders and groups to help build the future of healthcare.

Emma Scudder, our Director of Business Development, also has deep healthcare operations experience. She joined Cisco from GE Healthcare, where she created the organization’s customer success team for healthcare digital. She’s currently working at the ground level to understand providers’ immediate needs, as well as their long-term concerns.

Through conversations with healthcare organizations, we’ve found that with the rapid transformation that has occurred during COVID-19, there’s been a significant warming trend toward cloud solutions, a proliferation of apps, and a much looser definition of what is a medical device. We’re also seeing an expansion of what was traditionally considered the hospital network.

These developments have made healthcare systems more vulnerable than ever to cybersecurity attacks. Providers will need to invest in additional security controls to allow this continued growth and transformation.

We currently have two pilot solutions available to help our customers. They include:

Medical Device Security Offer: Our team of experts are providing advisory services to our healthcare customers on how to minimize risk and liability caused by cyberattacks, protect critical business and patient operations, and prevent IoT device breaches.

Network Foundation for Clinical Services Platform: We’re using the INFRAM framework to provide reference architectures and roadmaps for mapping Cisco’s Enterprise technologies (both products and services) to our healthcare customers’ top use cases and care abouts.

We have a long history of partnering with healthcare providers and worked alongside them during the pandemic by putting up makeshift hospitals, connecting patients with loved ones via WebEx, and increasing providers’ VPN availability to meet the needs of a massive work-from-home shift.

Recently, we helped Brooklyn Hospital secure their data, which is critical in today’s ransomware world. They’re now relying on Cisco Managed Detection and Response (MDR) to protect their environment 24/7 so they can focus on what matters most—keeping Brooklyn healthy.

We’ll continue to set priorities, based on customer needs and market research. For now, our primary focus areas are on three domains:

  • Clinician/staff productivity
  • Patient enablement
  • Security and compliance

We’re committed to helping healthcare providers capitalize on the industry’s paradigm shift, while effectively managing security and costs. Meanwhile, it’s going to be another important year for the healthcare industry, and we’re excited to put this dynamic practice to work to help them navigate these changes.

Visit our Cisco Healthcare industry website for more on CX healthcare solutions, and follow our #HealthcareNow blog series.


Alvio Barrios

Senior Vice President, Customer Experience

CX Future Technology & Investments