Cisco partners Citrus Health, Taleka team up for Webex-based healthcare solution

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Cisco partners Citrus Health, Taleka team up for Webex-based healthcare solution

UK-headquartered Cisco partner Taleka has teamed up with Sydney-based Citrus Solutions to co-develop a video conferencing solution for the healthcare sector.

Dubbed “HowRU”, the turnkey solution is based on Cisco’s Webex collaboration platform that aims to connect patients to their families.

Taleka handles the delivery of program management, design and customisation of staff communications, and educational material for both users and staff.

Citrus meanwhile automates some functions and workflows to provide a seamless experience for users, like user sign ups and authentication for security, and also handles ongoing technical support. The company also established “Citrus Health” as a dedicated division.

Taleka Asia Pacific director Tracey Kingston told CRN the project was developed at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, when Wollongong Hospital had to restrict visitors at the time.

“In the IT world, adoption is seen quite usually as the post-sale activity, but as technology adoption specialists, [Taleka] flipped it on its head on this particular project,” Kingston said.

“Our consultants started working with [Wollongong Hospital] to understand the problem and what they were trying to do, who has been affected, and understand their current workflows and needs.”

Cisco’s Webex platform was brought on board for its security features and API, which met the workflow and automation requirements.

Citrus Solutions managing director Peter Papaioannou told CRN that the way the company collaborated with Taleka and Wollongong Hospital was unique.

“We had to make sure whatever we develop actually added value to what they were trying to do — either remove bottlenecks or make the customer experience better, or make the security aspect just as strong as they wanted to be,” he said.

“We put together a bunch of automation technology that sits behind Webex to automate the creation of accounts and the serviceability of HowRU, and wrapping around that we’ve created a service offer.”

Papaioannou added that the automation side is just one component of the technology, with the wrapper and hosting included to create a turnkey solution.

On the hardware side, Wollongong Hospital used some of its existing Apple iPads used in a previous tech trial, while nursing staff used their own computers as the initial setup, which involves account creation using Citrus’ tech.

Looking ahead, both Citrus and Taleka are looking to expand HowRU’s tech to other applications like in aged care and pastoral care within health, as well as in other industries like education.

“Another reason why we created the standalone Citrus Health brand is that HowRU is a unique solution for health and our go-to-market model for it can be done in different ways,” Papaioannou said.

“We can either go through other partners or direct to the customers and we’re open to partnering models that make sense.”

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