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840 and 860(1).jpg
Deep dive into the new Wi-Fi phones

At Webex One in December 2020, Cisco launched the Webex Wireless Phone portfolio. As smartphones that connect to the network over Wi-Fi, the 840 and 860 deliver a voice, video, meeting and application platform in a mobile formfactor, which has long been desired by our customer base. Looking back at other product offers like the 8821 or 7925 models, it feels like a dream-come-true that Cisco has finally delivered this type of device.

As the son of a medical doctor and the brother of a registered nurse, I’ve seen and heard about many challenges faced by medical professionals. When I was kid, I used to visit my dad’s medical practice and spend time in the front office. Like most medical practices in the United States, my dad’s office was managed as a business. I remember hearing the mechanical clanking of the office manager’s typewriter as she kept the business running on paper and ink. When my dad upgraded to electronic records with the help of personal computers in the mid 1980s, I didn’t realize how that technology shift was a first step that would revolutionize the medical industry (hey, I was just a kid). Since then, medicine has seen a phenomenal shift to electronic data, with devices and applications at the heart of patient care.

Smartphone built for tough workstyles

With the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, today’s medical professionals are facing more challenges than ever. Webex Wireless Phones help eliminate some of the challenges. These phones are built on Android and provide a platform to run applications from major healthcare vendors. PerfectServe and PatientSafe, for example, have both certified the phones for hardware and software compatibility. Other popular medical applications have been certified as well, and more application vendors will certify the devices in the months to come. And because the phones are Google Certified, administrators can push any third-party application to a phone to enable a patient care use case.

Pregnant Mother

Secure and reliable communications

While the phones provide a great experience in a medical environment, they can also be leveraged in other vertical deployments. One of the best features of the Webex Wireless Phones is versatility. Retail environments can benefit from faster customer responses, like employees using a phone’s barcode scanner to check inventory in the store or just answering incoming phone calls to address customer questions. The phones can also help in manufacturing, too, by providing users the ability to share photos or videos with coworkers to decrease production issues.

In addition to software capabilities, the phones deliver an amazing hardware experience.  They support swappable batteries, which means a user doesn’t have to change devices during a shift.  Plus, the phones can be cleaned with disinfectants to reduce the transmission of viruses, which is very important in relation to the global pandemic.  But maybe the best hardware feature is the IP rating of the phones – the phones can withstand drops and the 860 can survive submersion in water up to a meter deep for up to 30 minutes.

The days of mechanical typewriters may be gone, but products like Cisco’s Webex Wireless Phones are here to help people do their jobs, no matter the industry.

Learn more about the Webex Wireless Phone now

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What’s new in Webex: March 2021

Cleaning shared touch-screen devices

Webex Telehealth Connector for Epic: Reimagining connection in healthcare

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Doctor using Webex video conferencing
Webex Telehealth Connector for Epic: Reimagining connection in healthcare

Telehealth using Cisco Webex Telehealth Connector

Remote delivery of care has been a game changer in the last year; reducing barriers of health equity, addressing delivery disruptions caused by the pandemic, enhancing patient experience, empowering care team’s productivity, and improving health outcomes by increasing access to necessary care.

pregnant woman using Webex Health Connector to communicate with her doctor

Cisco has collaborated closely with healthcare customers and partners in early field trials (beta) to streamline clinical workflow integration, deliver better experiences, and share important telehealth insights in Control Hub.

We’re excited to announce the general availability of Webex Telehealth Connector. Epic is the first EHR to be integrated with the Webex Telehealth Connector and is published in the Epic App Orchard.

Webex for healthcare is purpose built to meet healthcare delivery needs in diverse care settings. Webex Telehealth Connector allows for the flexibility to launch virtual visits from within clinician workflows or as a stand-alone application in a browser that has access to camera and microphone.

Clinician and patient virtual health

About Webex for healthcare

The browser based WebRTC technology does not require browser plugins or force any application installation. The video consultations are scheduled and managed directly from Epic’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. Because of the seamless integration with Epic’s system, clinicians can schedule virtual health appointments and get notified when a patient enters the virtual waiting room. Both clinicians and patients can launch virtual visits right from Epic’s provider and patient applications.

In addition to virtual video visits, participants can share screens to review images, charts, or other clinical documents to facilitate better care conversations. Moreover, the Control Hub dashboard shares insights about the quality of telehealth calls with administrators.

remote healthcare workers using Webex video conferencing

The Webex platform is HIPAA compliant and allows patients to launch virtual visits without storing any personal protected information (as patients are not required to login or share personal information). Webex provides privacy and security around encryption of all communication including securely sharing images or clinical documentation.

As healthcare customers innovate care delivery models, organizations will find new ways to deploy care with speed and agility to adapt and build resilience as they flex between physical and virtual points of care. Cisco’s Webex Telehealth Connector will enable these changes by making healthcare systems more efficient, increasing access to care, and enhancing healthcare outcomes.

Visit Webex for Healthcare to learn more about how your organization can enable telehealth using Cisco Webex Telehealth Connector.

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What’s new in Webex: April 2021

What healthcare providers should do this National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

How can screen sharing be used in healthcare?

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What’s new in Webex: November 2020

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Hackathon deco art
Announcing the winners of Collaboration hackathon

Transforming ideas into reality

The workplace is constantly evolving. The way we work is forever changing and advancements in technology are moving more rapidly than ever before. Innovation is key, but where does it come from and more importantly, how do we develop it into a reality?

At some point we have all had that great idea, that one lightbulb thought that could change how we work, make a process faster or save ourselves some time. The problem is that we don’t always have the resources, background or skillset to make it happen, often leading to missed opportunities. But not at Cisco. This is where innovation is born.

Building on the success of our 2-day Hackathon event hosted in San Jose in July 2019, Cisco SVP Javed Khan held our first-ever virtual Collaboration Hackathon series in late 2020 to early 2021. The series featured one hackathon for our internal colleagues and one for external innovators – organised by Product Manager Ivy Pham. Individuals and teams were welcome to participate regardless of technical knowledge or experience. The only criteria to take part: a passion to innovate and a desire to make a change.

“During these challenging pandemic times, seamless and secure virtual experiences are more important than ever. This virtual hackathon is a fun way our community can come together to develop solutions that will make virtual communication and collaboration ‘better than being there’.”

Javed Khan

SVP/GM, Collaboration 

Reimagining what is possible with our internal hackathon

The internal hackathon was open to all Cisco employees, harnessing the strength of our global workforce to provide diverse perspectives on the future of our industry. As a result, we had over 820 participants with nearly 500 submissions!

Innovation comes in all shapes and sizes. All ideas were welcome at the hackathon, but to help guide our hackers we created 3 key themes – Experience, Next Generation and Cross Architecture.

Experience – Focusing on our end users’ and customers’ experiences. Keeping this open to interpretation, participants could focus on day-to-day activities, operations and even analytics. Basically, keeping our customers top of mind and developing solutions to ensure they have the best experience possible.

Next Generation – The possibilities are endless when it comes to advancements in technology. Artificial intelligence and machine learning have changed how we all work, but we have only begun to scratch the surface. Here participants had the opportunity to create solutions that enable our users to work smarter, not harder.

Cross Architecture – The power of Cisco is the strength of our vast portfolio. Collaboration is just one aspect of this. Imagining innovative and creative concepts to integrate with our portfolio is game changing. This could include security, data, mobility and more.

Here are some of the solutions from the hackathon that blew us away:

Checklister

Webex is a great tool for collaboration via messages. To-do list applications are great tools for tracking ongoing tasks. Checklister would automatically suggest to-do list items to the user and allow editing before storing the message as an action item. The to-do list store could be native to Webex or third-party integrations.

Checklister

Webex Haiku

While business’s adoption of video calling tools for customer service is on the rise, not all people are avid computer users. This translates into frustration when joining Webex meetings. Cisco Webex Haiku is an online drag-and-drop editor for creating your own Webex client portal, as simple and powerful as your business needs it.

See the full list of winners below:

Hackathon Prizes

Global innovation at our external hackathon

We know that great ideas come in all shapes and sizes and sometimes a totally fresh perspective can reimagine how we work and the tools we use. With this in mind, we opened the external hackathon globally to people over the age of 18. Similar to our internal hackathon, we encouraged people to participate regardless of technical knowledge or experience. Everyone with an interest in innovation was welcome. As a result, we were delighted to see an enormous interest in university students signing up to take part (over 1100) – after all, they are the future of our industry.

To help guide our external participants we also provided two optional themes. The first was Cisco Webex and Collaboration with a key focus on the end user experience. The second was social good – creating new solutions that have a positive impact on people, society or the planet. In total we had nearly 250 teams participate and a whopping 60 winners. Below are a few highlights and the full winners list:

Sanitary Pad Dispensing Machine

The idea is an affordable and easy to operate sanitary pad dispensing machine. The project has been designed with the motive of providing 24/7 availability of sanitary pads to women, especially in rural regions where there is a lot of social stigma attached to this particular issue. One of the main objectives of this project was to make the topic of menstruation more mainstream so that parents could talk to their daughters more freely, friends could support each other, and women would not feel ashamed of something that is natural to them and a part of their life.

Webex Knowledge Extractor

This is a tool that integrates with Webex and allows questions and answers to be displayed and indexed for search based on threaded messaging. The dashboard interface will allow the end user to login via OAuth and select a room to be analyzed for Questions which have been answered by experts, then export to Excel or import into external systems for knowledge base articles.

Joey Notifications

Never miss a beat with Joey Notifications in Webex! Joey is the perfect solution to make working from home more people centric. Set reminders to stretch and take care of your health throughout the day. Joey is designed to engage you with little tips such as yoga videos or recipes and uses AI image detection to evaluate your health. Joey Notifications is the perfectly tailored plugin for you and your team!

1st prize

2nd prize3rd prize

These are just a few examples of the hundreds of innovative and creative ideas submitted during the hackathon series. Some of these amazing ideas will be put forward to our collaboration group and considered for further development.

Hackathons are just one of the many events we hold each year to spark innovation within our organization.

Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming events and one day your idea could become part of our collaboration offering!

Resources

The all new Webex

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