A May 20 webinar hosted by the Richardson Chamber of Commerce highlighted companies that quickly adapted to the changing environment and will likely be in high demand once the crisis is over.
Fujitsu, which has a regional hub in Richardson, offers products and services that scale wireless networks to meet demand and allow mobility, according to Richard Colter, the company’s director of network strategic planning.
“We are seeing a 20%-25% increase in bandwidth across the network as a result of cloud computing and streaming video,” Colter said. “That really drives a need for products we build and manufacture in Richardson and is a long-term trend we are excited about.”
During the crisis, Cisco Systems committed to enabling its products for use by front-line workers, such as doctors and nurses.
The company has developed desktops, tablets and other devices with an integrated teleconference software called Webex. In February, Webex meeting minutes totaled 6.7 billion. That number increased to 14.3 billion minutes in March, and in April, time spent on Webex meetings nearly doubled to 24.7 billion minutes, Reeder said.
The technology has helped overburdened health care facilities conduct medical appointments remotely, said John Reeder, senior director of product management.
“It was really very effective, and the amount of time we took to be able to set these up was critical to keeping the hospitals going,” he said.
Dallas-based Jacobs Engineering offers technical, professional and construction services. The company is currently overseeing the architectural and engineering aspects of the Silver Line, the latest addition to Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s light-rail system. The Silver Line will include two stops in Richardson.
Lisa Chill, director of interior solutions for the company’s south region, said the pandemic has led her colleagues and clients to ponder what workplaces of the future might look like. Services provided by Jacobs could help reconfigure space used by schools, businesses and hospitals post-coronavirus.
Jacobs also worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to set up temporary emergency rooms and triage units for doctors and nurses treating patients with the virus.
“What we did is we worked with many different health care systems across the country to immediately set up units to help manage the COVID crisis,” she said.
The coronavirus has created a “big opportunity for change in how patients see physicians,” said Neil Simon, COO of eMDs, a Richardson-based company that develops electronic health records and practice management software. The pandemic has led the company to augment its systems with telehealth capabilities to help customers cope with managing their patient populations more effectively.
The company has now turned its focus to simplifying its products so they can be used by both the “technologically literate and illiterate,” Simon said.
“How can we make virtual meetings as simple as picking up a telephone and making a call?” he said.
An overburdened health care system means chronic conditions may have gone untreated over the past couple of months, Simon said. Once the pandemic situation improves, doctors will need as many avenues as possible to treat patients. He said he predicts the future of the industry will include a combination of both office and virtual visits.
“We will have a new normal that we all get used to,” he said. “It won’t be exactly what it was before, but I don’t believe what we have today is what it is going to be forever.”
Editor's note: This story has been amended to include more information about eMDs.