What happened to the companies that were closed down by the government? Uppercase met one of them. A health clinic.
Like many others, my company Uppercase recently got some extra time to think and reflect, while we reposition and strengthen ourselves. To help us we visited different industries who normally depend on physical contact in order to do their job.
we could help 10–20% of our patients through video
First stop was a health clinic in the old part of Oslo, Vålerenga, named Helsevinkelen. They were very welcoming and we got to chat with a sweet naprapath named Alfhild.
— Can you tell us a little about the clinic and yourself?
— We are a little health community established in 2012, consisting of 10 independent therapists with different specialities. We do acupuncture, massage, physiotherapy, naprapathy and different mental therapy. My self, I am a naprapath. Mostly I work from here, but I have some companies I visite to treat the employees at their office. A nice arrangement, but not very lucrative after the pandemic locked us down.
— March 12 the government decided to shut down your clinic and all other health clinics. How did you handle that? What were your thoughts?
— It felt strange. Lot of thoughts running through my head. And I went into a quarantine for 14 days since I came back from Portugal on the 13th. My patients were very understanding. Luckily I had some savings to keep me going for a while. I didn’t like the thought of having to shut down our clinic after eight years of hard work.
— These couple of months we have mostly stayed at home. No travelling to the cabin or ski trips to the mountain. And for you — no patients to treat. How have you spent your days? And what kind of preparations for the future have you done?
— Walks in the forest. Som admin stuff. Also I have offered free counselling on video when patients have asked. And yes! I have been going regularly to my new work out sessions — in the forest. Some personal trainers who layed off started a new concept where they bring small groups out into the forest and do work outs. It is great! I meet new people and stay in shape. Try out skogtur.no!
— To prepare us for the future we have looked at our current insurances, negotiated with the landlord, cancelled subscriptions etc. I guess we mostly have been in a “protect ourselves’-mode. Hoping everything will go away soon. Not really been proactive and thought about how we might change for the better. Not really looked ahead — yet.
— These days many people write about how such a crisis is like a “kick in the ass” to the digitalisation of Norway — and the world. Since we basically have to keep our distance for a while. Have you or your clinic discussed how you can use technology to reach out and help more people?
— No we haven’t really come around to that yet. We do have a lot of material we could use to reach out, like videos and illustrations. And from our recent experience I would say we could help 10–20% of our patients through video. And I suspect that more and more of our patients will prefer the convenience of using video in the future — now that they have “discovered it”. But, then we have to charge them for it, which I guess is ok if they want it that way.
— Uppercase are specialists in building digital services. We study how different industries follow the digital transformation. To what degree would you say you offer digital services to your customer?
— We have done some counselling via phone and video before, but very rarely. Maybe once a month. We have our web page and use Facebook and Instagram in addition to reach out with our marketing message. Now, with the fear amongst people to catch the disease, I do video and phone service daily.
— Many clinics like yours and other industries will suffer the same as you in the coming weeks and months. Do you have anything you would like to say to them — that could give them motivation and help to get through these troubled times?
— Don´t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone understands. And it seems most people really only want to contribute to getting everything back to normal. Don’t carry this on your own. Reach out to experts and even competitors. And last, but not least, follow the instructions from our government. Hang in there. This is a marathon, and will take time. Especially if we don´t work together.
— Thank you for your time, Alfhild!
If you live in the Oslo-area and need to adjust som aching bodyparts, check out the fabulous team at Helsevinkelen!