I pivoted my career to focus on live streaming when I left YouTube in 2009. I believed it was the future of entertainment and had the power to connect people from across the world in real-time. Several years later my then-3-year-old son was diagnosed with B-Cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. From that moment forward, my family spent the next two and a half years constantly in and out of hospitals. I had no idea how these two parts of my life would converge.
Today my son is healthy, and my family looks to the future with cautious optimism. Yet that experience –witnessing my own son and others in the hospital battle life-threatening illness and face the stress of missing their childhoods–was an experience I could not shake. Then I was introduced to Taylar Carol, a childhood cancer survivor himself, and instantly realized there was an opportunity to connect my passions. As CTO of ZOTT, I’ve made another pivot to actualize a future where livestreaming and cloud technology can change the lives of sick patients faced with long-term hospitalization.
Solving a Patient Need
There’s a reason patient experience has become such a driving force in today’s hospital system. Patients battling leukemia and other life-threatening illnesses are unable to go outside, pursue passions, or stay connected with the world. They are physically isolated for long periods of time. This often dehumanizing and terrifying patient experience has an impact not only on patient satisfaction, but patient health.
Escaping the reality of pain or discomfort and diverting the attention of patients with sensory stimuli through distraction therapy is a critical tool when you’re hospitalized. Meaningful mental, emotional and social stimulation— whether through interaction, music, watching movies, learning, or games—can help ease feelings of suffering and, consequently, reduce the volume of pain medication prescribed and demand on hospital staff resources.
Today’s technology to support patient engagement is limited and antiquated. Even innovative and forward-thinking hospitals are plagued by expensive and cumbersome infrastructures. ZOTT is solving this need through a device agnostic, cloud-based, content distribution platform. By bringing engaging, educational, and interactive content into the hands of patients and their families, ZOTT addresses four gaps that exist within the current patient experience: social isolation, infrequent educational opportunities, a lack of safe and stimulating content, and dull clinical content.
Modernizing the Patient Experience with AWS
ZOTT creates a safe space for patients, family members, and caregivers by enabling a “walled-garden experience”. Inside this private and curated environment, ZOTT allows hospital communities to take control of the content consumption process, fostering a sense of community and togetherness through safe and meaningful interactions. This is all made possible by utilizing cloud-based technology.
Migrating healthcare facilities to the cloud comes with numerous benefits to the patient and the hospital. Amazon Web Services has been the ideal cloud partner for us at ZOTT. It doesn’t just provide ZOTT with the necessary HIPPA compliance, but allows the ZOTT platform to be incredibly agile and scalable. New content is remotely delivered to hospital patients across the country every day and new product updates are pushed live without any onsite maintenance. Furthermore, as hospitals rely more on cloud computing and cloud storage, they are able to streamline operations and decrease costs by meaningfully reducing their reliance on on-premises hardware.
There’s also no need for patients or hospitals to purchase additional hardware. In fact, gone are the days of expensive infrastructure and aging devices. ZOTT utilizes a bring-your-own-device model that reduces support and maintenance costs for hospitals and also allows content to be accessed anywhere in the hospital environment. Thanks to Amazon’s cloud capabilities, after ZOTT has been installed within a facility, anyone within the hospital can consume content through their preferred device without worrying about wires or restrictive hardware.
The work that we’ve done with AWS goes a long way towards making facilities more accommodating to families as a whole, who often spend just as much time in hospitals as their sick loved ones. Moreover, it helpshospital leaders control the potentially harmful effects long-term hospitalization can have on patients’ personal development.
I still believe streaming is the future, that games and online worlds can be transformative tools for community, awareness, and entertainment. Giving those suffering from long-term illnesses access to the same comforts and opportunities as before their hospitalization allows patients to leave facilities with newfound intellectual passions and relieved feelings of social isolation while providing comfort to their families. And that’s the good we can achieve when we make it easy for people to stay connected to their world.