Polycom® RealPresence™ video collaboration solutions are driving new healthcare business models and opening new ways to deliver high-quality specialists' care across distance
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – HIMSS12 Annual Conference & Exposition - Feb 21, 2012 : Polycom, Inc., the global leader in standards-based unified communications (UC), today is convening with healthcare practitioners and IT executives from around the world at HIMSS12 to show how Polycom® RealPresence™ video and voice collaboration solutions are transforming the way healthcare organizations learn, teach, and deliver care.
Healthcare organizations are under pressure to reduce costs, increase revenues, and improve patient care with available resources – even as the Baby Boomer generation moves toward retirement and places increasing demands for care on the industry. One of the main challenges in healthcare is the distance that separates experts from the people who need them. According to the World Health Organization, 60 percent of the world's population live in rural areas (as of 2010), while 75 percent of consultants and medical professionals live in urban centers. Patients in remote and rural areas have less access to medical expertise simply because of where they live. Distance is also a stress on the system due to costly transfers to medical centers for treatment. Depending on the distance involved, emergency helicopter transports can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000 per trip.1
Polycom Video Eliminates the Distances between Experts and the People Who Need Them
More and more hospitals are turning to telemedicine to eliminate the problem of distance, using Polycom RealPresence video to bring healthcare providers and remote, home-care, and quarantined patients together face-to-face for consultation, evaluation, and monitoring. Specialists can now conduct remote consultations and prescribe treatments from their home office, or even from on the road, while "visiting" patients via video with HD quality that's as good as being there in person. A new hub-and-stroke business model has emerged based on Polycom video, where a central facility is the hub and smaller facilities or individual specialists are the spokes, allowing healthcare providers to provide round-the-clock consultation and remote treatment of patients via high-definition, interactive video.
For example, Seton Family of Hospitals in Central Texas uses Polycom video solutions at its Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas to provide access over video to immediate, expert pediatric trauma resources to a 46-county region; and the Seton Brain & Spine Institute telemedicine program connects neurologists with remotely located patients for the evaluation of stroke severity and treatment recommendations. The ability for experts to immediately examine stroke patients is critical to determining those who could benefit from life-saving therapies that must be administered within a small window of time. Read the case study.
"We're dealing with situations where minutes count and using video telemedicine is simply the best way to improve care delivery."
Brian Henry, Telemedicine Program Developer –Trauma Services, Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas
Another cutting-edge example is the United Kingdom's NHS (National Health Service) telestroke services, which has saved millions of dollars in clinician travel and after-patient care by bringing stroke specialists to the patient via video to enable timely life-saving diagnosis by the specialists. Fifteen stroke consultants have laptops equipped with Polycom software, which they use to connect to any of six hospitals via a Polycom Practitioner Cart at the patient's bedside. Controlling a camera remotely, the specialist can see the detailed clinical examination performed by the clinician at the bedside. (See the related video.)
"For a really quite small financial outlay, we've got a 24-hour consultant-led service for stroke patients."
Dr. Mark O'Donnell, Stroke Consultant at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Clinical Lead for the CSNLC
Polycom also partners with Medical Missions for Children (MMC), an organization that is dedicated to improving medical outcomes for critically-ill children in over 100 countries around the world. MMC enables volunteer physicians in the U.S. to consult with peer physicians, examine patients, and offer treatment plans to children using Polycom RealPresence solutions. (See the related announcement and video.)
Polycom RealPresence Video is Key to a New "World of Connected Health"
"Due to the advancement of video conferencing technology over the past five years, video solutions have become more cost effective and reliable, and as a result, healthcare has seen an unprecedented increase in need for video solutions," said Zachary Bujnoch, senior industry analyst, Healthcare, Frost & Sullivan. "Direct 'doctor to patient' diagnostic situations are only one part of the growing applications for video in healthcare. Providers also are seeing a dramatic increase in value for video in educational situations and 'peer to peer' or 'doctor to doctor' interactions, cementing video conferencing as a key component in the world of connected health."
Healthcare organizations the world over are turning to Polycom as a foundation for innovation. Eight of the top 10 hospitals and all of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies worldwide today are using Polycom video collaboration solutions to allow the organizations to reduce patient evaluation times, treat patients remotely, improve medical education, enhance caregiver productivity and quality of life, reduce costs, and ultimately save lives.
To help educate health leaders about how they can achieve maximum results through video collaboration, Polycom works closely with the Center for Connected Medicine, the world's first collaborative healthcare executive briefing center dedicated to developing the blueprint for innovative patient-centered health through understanding new models of care and leveraging strategically integrated health information technology. The Center has hosted nearly 10,000 visitors from the healthcare industry since it opened in September 2009.
Demonstrations of Healthcare Innovation
This week at HIMSS12, attendees can experience a range of featured Polycom solutions, including:
- Polycom® Practitioner Cart™ – an HD video-enabled cart solution connecting patients and physicians globally
- Polycom® RealPresence™ Video Content Management Solutions – organizations can support medical education events and classes, such as disaster preparedness training seminars
- Polycom® RealPresence™ Mobile – enterprise-grade videoconferencing for mobile devices, such as tablets, that helps streamline telemedicine sessions for better patient-centered care when health practitioners are on the go
- Polycom® SpectraLink® 8452 Handsets – a nurse workflow example with the first enterprise-grade Voice-Over Wi-Fi handset with an integrated 2D barcode scanner that improves productivity and responsiveness for on-site staff
- Polycom® KIRK® DECT Handsets – wireless telephones featuring integration with ale