It will be a different summer this year. We do not get the opportunity to go abroad during the holidays. We cannot shake hands with friends and new acquaintances, and we must continue to keep our distance from each other. The pandemic we are all affected by has given us a wake-up call saying that we can no longer take anything for granted.
Fortunately, CheckWare is rock solid in this stream of challenging news and changes. We had a good year last year, with very good momentum into 2020. The pandemic, which sent all employees to their home offices, has not managed to slow us down to any great extent. More and more customers are choosing CheckWare, we are hiring more people and continuing our plans to expand internationally with our market-leading core business which is digital patient participation.
The pandemic also led to the awakening of the creative half of the brain. Not least with our customers. Our Norwegian customer Vestre Viken found that they could use CheckWare's tools in a new way: in record time, they set up a system where their employees registered their own status during the coronavirus epidemic. The rapid spread and risk of infection led to strong pressure on health personnel, and Vestre Viken established a solution for self-registration which continually provided a good overview of available personnel. Thus, managers and employees could focus on the core tasks, beyond the management of the capacity at the hospital.
This form of dialogue and collaboration has given us inspiration to think outside the box. Maybe there is a market for CheckWare in the occupational health services in large organizations, where you can offer digital follow-up at any time? Maybe our tool can be used even more as a support system to catch up with patients other than Covid 19 patients? Perhaps our customers can differentiate the order patients are contacted in relation to immediate needs to a greater extent than before?
There are an enormous number of opportunities in digital health services. The explosion of services will help to streamline the treatment processes and ensure a better relationship between the therapist and those affected. At CheckWare, we are constantly concerned with sustainability, and there is no doubt that digital patient participation has evolved from "nice to have" to "need to have". For us, the UN's sustainability goals are not just words: we want to be a supporter in the development of good health and quality of life, enter into close cooperation to achieve the sustainability goals, contribute to reducing poverty and inequality, not least when we invest internationally.
Therefore, it is important that all our employees take into account how central this sustainability contract is in the dialogue with all those we are in contact with during the working day. We now feel that the opportunity for constructive interaction has been expanded with the demonstration of the power of video communication. This opens up for meetings in all shapes, regardless of time and place. Physical location now means a lot less than it used to.
We find that we are forced to make decisions faster and become more focused and efficient in all the work we do. This does not mean that video conferencing and home office will completely replace office-based work - there is nothing that can replace meeting each other in the physical space - but it does mean far greater flexibility when it comes to important discussions and decisions.
During the coronavirus epidemic, we have reflected on various aspects of distance, and there is little doubt that less travel means saving time, reduced costs and healthier operations, both for private business, the public sector and the environment. For CheckWare, there will be fewer flights in the future.
Distance means a lot to us at all. Distance follow-up is part of what we offer on a daily basis and which, paradoxically, can bring customers closer to their own patients. Of course, we hope that we return to a normal state where we can shake hands and hug each other. But there are some factors about distance that can be positive. At CheckWare, we intend to show this to our customers in the years to come.
Wishing you a really good summer!
Heidi Blengsli Aabel, CEO, CheckWare