Who is Frank Teng?
After completing his undergraduate degree in psychology at Yale, Frank Teng studied UX design at Carnegie Mellon University. “My philosophy has always been to empower other people—I always wanted to look at opportunities where I can serve other people.” This interest in understanding how people work has led him to the Mayo Clinic. Frank is a UX designer for telehealth products, sharing the benefits of technology in health care.
Frank’s focus is working in a practical platform eliminating barriers and focusing on empowering individuals with technology. “Essentially, I'm creating a more seamless, streamlined product experience for when a patient talks to a doctor.” In his role with the Mayo Clinic the focus is: ‘how do we make everything as easy for the patient as possible?’
One of the great advantages of telehealth is the convenience for patients to stay in their own homes, an especially advantageous aspect during these trying times. Instead of driving long distances to the Mayo Clinic and having to deal with the trivials of life, i.e. getting babysitters, taking time off from work etc., patients can interact with doctors on their own schedules.
“I think one of the most interesting stories I've heard is when I was talking to a speech therapist who works with kids—Because of COVID, you can't really work with them in person because of the masks. She can't see how they're moving their lips and tongue. So video visits have actually been a lot easier for her.” Telehealth enables family members to be involved, allowing patients to have family on the same call, no matter where they are. It seems to benefit children as well. “There's more spontaneity, there's more ability for the kids to express themselves as they are. Also kids just tend to be more comfortable at home naturally.”
The Future Of Telehealth
Regarding the future of telehealth, new technology is becoming more accessible. For example, Google is developing hologram technology using variable light display. Project Starline was released in May. This allows for a lifelike visual of the other person and it feels like they're just sitting across from you. Frank also mentions 3D models may be incorporated into the healthcare field. Doctors would have the ability to drag models into the screen and share in depth diagnostics with their patients.
While tele-communicating is certainly beneficial with the current state of COVID restrictions, Frank talks about coping with change and isolation. He places an emphasis on finding time to meditate. Reflect and reset he says. Also, keep yourself busy. “I'm a person who likes to socialize and talk to people and I’m extroverted. So it's hard to not have that type of in person experience—I think that making sure you have hobbies is very important. Pick up something new. Learn something interesting that you've always wanted to do. I've gotten really good at gardening—I grow my own food.”
Frank also says having a positive perspective is essential. “And some days are easier than others. But I think that just knowing that some things are just different now will really make you feel more peaceful, because there's just no holding on to the past and the way it was—[It’s about] looking more at how today is, and what you can do about where you are.”