Supporting medical education during Covid

A 94% satisfaction rating makes VirtaMed's Support Team stand out as a global leader when it comes to helping our customers continue their medical education! Alberto Nonini, Head of Service & Support, shares his insights into supporting customers through the COVID-19 period.

What is your first priority when you hear of a customer in need?

The priority of the Support Team is always to solve the problems of our customers in the shortest possible time. The medical educator that is training with the simulator is most likely not the owner: often the owner can be in a different country, even in a different time zone. Our goal is to remove complexity and get the simulator up and working, ready for the next training event.

How do you deliver the highest quality customer support?

We regularly use the simulators for customer training ourselves, and know the pain of any technical issues during or immediately prior to training with a healthcare practitioner. This is why we have a direct line to our Support Team - no call centers - enabling us to rapidly understand how to respond to a situation in the best way. 

Moreover, our in-house development team of over 50 engineers and computer scientists are just a call away, and we find them always happy to dive into a technical challenge to get the simulators working again. With these decades of experience, we are able to rapidly understand the technical elements of an issue and, most importantly, explain solutions in an understandable way via phone or video call. Simplifying this technical complexity is key for finding remote solutions!

Has COVID-19 changed your ability to respond to support requests?

This year we have still completed many of our regular proactive maintenance visits to ensure that customers with large numbers of simulators have them all working perfectly. Giving this clean bill of health is important to preemptively catch anything that could result in an issue if left unaddressed.

A year ago we were clearly able to travel much more freely. I remember sending a spare part with a colleague on the next possible airplane out of Zurich, which we clearly cannot do this year! Instead we have been able to send some customers spare parts in advance of their training events, which helps them to prepare and gives them piece of mind.

Can you already imagine lasting changes arising from COVID-19?

The current situation inspires us to change the way we serve our customers. We are focusing on implementing technological solutions that connect simulators to our cloud network. This enables us to perform remote system diagnostics, predict failures in advance,  and automate software updates.
These digitization projects had already started before the COVID situation and we have accelerated because we believe that it is increasingly important to go in this direction. This is a huge benefit of simulators that use the VirtaMed Connect cloud system.