How Salesforce, Crowdsourcing, and Enterprise App Dev are changing the face of connected health
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How Salesforce, Crowdsourcing, and Enterprise App Dev are changing the face of connected health

by Ben Kerschberg for Forbes

When Salesforce looked closely at business application development for connected health, it envisioned a cloud-based app essential to allow all stakeholders in a patient’s case–from intake to the surgeon to the patient himself–to participate in Salesforce’s so-called Connected Clinic at once, in real time, and from different locations. In particular, it was critical for Salesforce to show how its health-based CRM platform could focus on patient interactions (not mere transactions) at each of a patient’s points of care.

Transparency must be a hallmark of connected health so that patients can see precisely the data their caregivers see whether or not at the point of care (“POC”). Access to such information is critical during what can be a scary process (e.g., surgery) for individuals and families. Many of us have been there. In this respect, every caregiver providing connected medicine is engaging in customer relationship management (CRM), with real-time accountability to its customers (patients).

A Practical Case: Connected Health At One of the World’s Finest Hospitals

Imagine Hospital (X), long known for its innovation in medicine. When it speaks, the healthcare industry takes notice, as it did when (X) jumped into the fray of connected health. For (X), connectivity means both a smoother care process and complete transparency for the patient to follow his course of care. The patient receives what I’ll call “Time-Manner-Place” connected medical treatment — care at the right time, in the right manner by the right professionals, and at the POC. Realizing this goal is not easy — it requires continuous real-time communication (i) between caregivers at all points of care along a patient’s journey, and (ii) with patients themselves. While difficult, this is essential for today’s hospitals and other care providers. Services such as connected health are “must offers”, not “should-” or “nice-to-” have offers.


The Salesforce sales team has long been a customer of the Appirio crowdsourcing community, a relationship spearheaded by David Majetic, Principal Sales Engineer at Salesforce. Majetic was primarily concerned with showing his prospects an application Appirio had built in little time from a demo to an idea to architecture to the app itself. Reducing the cycle for selling such apps to its own clients provides Salesforce a distinct comparative advantage over its competitors. In its short lifetime, the Connected Clinic app has enabled the Salesforce Sales team to have much deeper conversations with prospects. These have centered around their functional needs, desired user interface and user experience, customers, and necessary speed to market. This is not surprising. In today’s digital age, speed to market, CRM, and other goals are critical to business strategy. Salesforce’s successful use of Appirio to build apps quickly and with world-class results forces every enterprise to think about how how best to use apps to drive business and customer relations.

The face of medicine changes daily before us, with an ongoing shift in power from caregivers to patients. For hospitals and other facilities, this requires cloud-based solutions that allow the patient to participate in and monitor his own treatment. Likewise, each of the patient’s caregivers must enter and see pertinent information in real time, no matter the POC. “Time-Manner-Place” is no longer just a grammar term. It is also perfectly suited to describe connected health today. Salesforce’s Connected Clinic app is already helping Salesforce establish stronger relationship with existing customers in the competitive healthcare space and serves as a model for other opportunities.

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