8 Ways AR /VR can Improve MedTech Customer Field Service
As Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) permeate the MedTech industry, companies are looking at exploring the technologies to boost both field service utilization and productivity while simultaneously curbing travel expenditures. In an ideal world, AR/VR can be used to provide remote support to the customer, without having to dispatch a technician at all. However, today, AR/VR is also enabling companies to send technicians who communicate with remote experts, thus reducing the total number of person-hours on site as well as travel costs. The end result is improved asset reliability, proactive maintenance, improved customer experience and decreased cost of service.
Here’s how AR/VR can improve MedTech customer field service:
- Remotely monitoring products for failure: A major use case for AR/VR in the MedTech customer field service avenue is remotely monitoring products for failure. Since the MedTech equipment need to function correctly, 24×7, using AR/VR, field technicians can constantly monitor critical equipment for anomalies and issues. When integrated with analytics software, the collected data from heart rate monitors, for instance, can enable technicians to predict how many service hours a device has left before it needs to be repaired or replaced. In addition, AR can also help field service teams to confirm device details like part number, and how it responds to environmental factors for accurate and precise functioning.
- Following complex procedures: Integrating AR/VR with field service management software can enable technicians to instantly access complex service manuals. Through interactive 3D animations and holographic overviews, they will be in a better position to deal with unfamiliar equipment. Technicians can also follow difficult instructions without having to constantly refer to physical documents or files on their tablets or smartphones. Since graphical information can be displayed over a physical environment, it a lot easier for MedTech customer service agents to understand what they need to do and how they need to do it.
- Training new technicians: With new agents regularly joining the field service industry, AR/VR can act as an excellent tool for training novice technicians on-the-job. Since managing and maintaining MedTech equipment is a complex undertaking, using AR/VR, organizations can assist new technicians with a repair sequence. Using a series of 3D technical illustrations, they can be guided on how to solve the problem at hand. While there might still be situations where expert technicians need to be present, if experienced personnel can deliver assistance remotely, organizations can free up labor more efficiently, and save substantially on field service costs.
- Assisting customers: For minor repairs and service calls, dispatching a field technician can be an expensive endeavor. Using AR/VR, field service technicians can not only solve equipment issues through a remote console but also virtually guide customers through maintenance or repair procedures. Field service agents can take a virtual tour to help customers fix simple problems; when a user error is involved, using AR/VR, technicians can remotely pinpoint what the user needs to do, to get things back in working condition – paving the way for instant and easy service.
- Improved service with data analysis: AR/VR can also help service organizations and technicians make better service decisions through improved analysis of data collected from field data collection software. By gaining deeper insights into equipment data has been accumulated, organizations can determine which issues need physical technician assistance, which issues can be solved by users themselves, and which issues can be solved remotely using AR/VR technology.
- Enhancing efficiency: When MedTech customer field service technicians are armed with AR/VR, everything from repairs to sensor information can be uploaded to technicians’ AR/VR glasses. This can guide technicians through the repair process and also allows them to look inside the device and measure important metrics. Technicians can eliminate distractions and the need to look through manuals for hours, and visually inspect devices without physically interacting with it. Using AR/VR, MedTech customer field service agents can increase their efficiency, which can translate into substantial cost savings and better patient care.
- Boosting service delivery: Although MedTech customer field service teams are expected to solve issues instantly, they cannot possibly work their way around every complex issue that they face. AR/VR can provide technicians with a digital experience with both assisted and self-service interactions. Technicians can leverage the immersive experience offered by the technologies, and improve service delivery. Issues that might seem impossible to solve, can be solved in a matter of a few minutes, thanks to the detailed and interactive experiences offered by AR/VR.
- Offering visual guidance: Imagine having to solve complex MedTech equipment problems using physical service manuals – not only is it time-consuming, such a process is also error-prone. And in the MedTech industry, errors are just not an option. For MRI scanners, for instance, service organizations can deliver multimedia content to reach dispersed field service teams, and make it a useful tool for a variety of users. AR/VR can provide the representation that will help technicians understand the functioning of the scanner, and retain information better; technicians can leverage visual aid and better deploy their knowledge in field service tasks.
Expedite issue diagnosis
Considering the increasing complexity of MedTech products, AR/VR can offer valuable training, guidance, and information to customer field service agents – at a lower cost and in a more efficient manner.
AR/VR can not only reduce training times for field technicians but also enable them to assess the situation virtually before being dispatched to the site. At the equipment site, the technology can increase communication with back-office experts, allowing them to assist the remote technicians virtually. What’s more, AR/VR can make extra tools and information available instantly through helpful projections, reducing the need to retrieve materials or revisit manual instructions. In a nutshell, through increased connectivity and more readily available tools, AR/VR can improve time-to-resolution and expedite issue diagnosis quickly and more efficiently.