May 12, 2020

Covid-19 Update: Medical VR, and Quirky Searches

It's been two weeks since our last news digest, and the digital world continues to move along at hyperspeed, or so it seems when the needs for adaptation and transformation are so great. Nowhere is this more evident than in the area of communication in this remote landscape where we all really need to connect. This need to connect is not just between workmates, family, friends, but also between doctors and patients, as well as doctors to doctors. The health field has long been a proponent of using virtual reality and it’s now coming into maximum effect.

VR Helping the Frontline

University of New England
University of New England

CNN reports that VR is being used in the US and other countries to facilitate medical training in real-life simulations like fast evaluations of a patient’s symptoms and from correctly donning PPE to wearing it to perform regular procedures. All while socially distancing. 

"One simulation puts the user alone in an isolation room, where they can see nurses and doctors come in and out, says the founder of Virti, one of the different programs being used a Cedars-Sinai hospitals in Los Angeles, “(and this way) they can get an idea of how scary it is for patients. It's easy to forget the basics of communicating through the masks, so scenarios like this help with bedside manner." 

Read more on the library about how VR is impacting digital marketing.

Podcast Popularity

Covid-19 Update: Medical VR, and Quirky Searches

Podcasts are about as popular as they have ever been and we've been delighted to see a very healthy appetite for our own podcast. New features and tools continue to help the scene. Google Podcasts Manager tool, launched on May 5th, might help Google compete more seriously with the heavy hitters of Apple iTunes and Spotify: it’s currently only in fifth position. The tool will even track podcasts being listened over smart speakers, a sure sign that Google recognizes how podcasts are adapting into their environment. In other Podcast news, Apple iTunes has launched a Covid-19 “essential listening” playlist. And Spotify-owned Anchor now offers an option to record a podcast straight from a video chat, covering several popular platforms.

What Have You Been Searching For?

Covid-19 Update: Medical VR, and Quirky Searches

If you’re curious to know what people are searching for on Google while they’re at home, the stats are out. People stuck at home in the UK have been searching for (in top place) gym equipment, pubs delivering food, and recipes for fish and chips and different baking ideas. Those in the US have slightly different needs, with top searches being local farm delivery, Coronavirus cure, and, again, baking recipes. See the full story here. Pinterest stats show their users are also very interested in food.

Other Stories

  • The digital marketing landscape is shifting before our eyes. A new report shows that consumer habits are changing already.
  • Adriene Mishler, a yoga teacher in Austin, Texas, has seen her YouTube channel really take off in the last couple of months. Here’s a profile of her success.
  • Twitter decided to follow Facebook’s lead and will label Covid-19 related tweets considered to be misleading. Read more about their approach.
  • YouTube has launched Video Builder, a quick and easy tool for brands to create video ads.
  • Facebook just launched new video call capabilities in Messenger and WhatsApp. 
  • Travel, remember that? Thai Airways is offering air miles to its members if they stay home. Read more.
  • AirBnb hit the news when it announced that it was cutting about 25% of its workforce, in one of the biggest Silicon Valley layoffs to date. 
  • Our most recent DMI podcast takes a deep dive into how brands are coping so far with Covid-19 with warnings on how they should start looking to the middle term and planning as best they can. Listen here.

Stay tuned for our next news roundup in two weeks, and sign up for our upcoming webinars

The Membership Team

Emma Prunty
Emma Prunty

As the DMI's Content Editor Emma works to bring our members insightful and topical content every week. She has worked in digital everything for over 20 years, from New York to Oslo and Toronto to Dublin, and is always on the lookout for the latest currents of where things are going next. As producer of our popular podcast, winner of the 2023 Memcom Podcast Award, she's always happy to hear from anyone interested in coming on the show to share their expertise. She can be found on LinkedIn.

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