The Future of Surgery Support: Virtual Reps

The best sales reps are problem solvers in the OR. I have been lucky enough to work with great problem solvers and witness their work in the OR. These men and women create value by making the surgeon’s job easier, with better outcomes for the patient and shorter OR time. 

In this strange COVID world, many hospitals don’t want the rep in the OR, but technical support in surgery is not going away.  Orthopedic surgeons need these device experts in the OR for complex cases or if things happen to go south.Additionally, the overall trend with device systems is more complexity (shame on the device companies for doing this).  The bottom line is that surgeons feel safer when they have a knowledgeable rep in the room for backup.

With that preamble, let’s look at the new sales support in orthopedics.

I believe that the best orthopedics reps will soon be using an array of new online platforms.  

less Physical —> more Virtual

This new technology platforms will make the best reps better.  The best rep will be able to support more cases each day, with zero human touch and zero travel.

Let me share 3 startups that have launched virtual surgery support platforms – Enhatch, Avail, and ExplORer. Click on the company names to learn more. These 3 startups illustrate where we are all heading in orthopedics. 

Enhatch RepVision

When COVID happened, enhatch pivoted from virtual Engineer support during cases to a virtual rep model. Enhatch is giving away 100 free hours of time to any rep, No hardware needed. Use your own iPad.

Avail Medsystems

Avail Medsystems Procedural Telemedicine(TM) solution provides an easy cost-effective way to connect procedural healthcare professionals virtually, whenever and wherever collaboration is needed. Their Avail Console is purpose built to enable remote participants, via the Avail Remote App, to access provider ORs. Remote participants have direct control of two HD pan-tilt-zoom cameras, access to multiple streams of intra-procedural imaging (e.g. arthroscope, ultrasound, angiogram etc.), the ability to display any two views at once, can freeze video and make annotations over still or live video all on a high speed, HIPPA compliant platform.  Avail does not charge providers or medical device companies for the Avail Console, rather access is time based and enables OR access to all vendors on a single Procedural Telemedicine™ platform.  Avail aims to enhance clinical knowledge sharing, collaboration and speed of training while mitigating infection risks and lowering costs. It can be used by medical device reps to support procedures, by physicians for proctoring, or by hospitals to increase expertise and knowledge sharing.

Read my interview with the Avail CEO

ExplORer Surgical

ExplORer is a workflow management system with tailored checklists which reduce errors, track efficiency and eliminate confusion among team members in the OR and procedural suites. It can also be used to support cases remotely.

Your Take Home Message

My early opinion is that these new tools will make the strong problem-solving rep even better. He or she can cover more cases more effectively each day and become a super-rep. A strong rep can become a super-rep covering cases on-demand in hospitals in different cities in an instant.

On the flip side, for the rookies and the weaker reps out there, these virtual tools will render them useless.

My advice is for sales professionals is to experiment. Play with these tools today, learn the applications and get ahead of the curve. Knowing how to cover cases remotely will put your service on a different level from the in-person rep.

Start experimenting today!