Linking five far-apart stroke units, the Polycom Practitioner HD video cart is helping stroke patients get treatment from remote physicians within a critical three-hour window
London, UK - Jan 25, 2012 : Polycom Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in standards-based unified communications (UC), today reported that the Telestroke Network Project at NHS (National Health Service) Surrey, which was set up across five different trusts in September 2011, is already helping to save the lives of stroke victims by using Polycom high-definition video collaboration solutions to bring remote patients together face-to-face with medical professionals for vital early intervention.
The new telemedicine system gives the hospitals’ stroke teams fast access to stroke consultant experts at any time of the day or night – even when the consultant isn’t on-site. Getting specialist clinical advice quickly is essential so that on-site physicians can make treatment decisions quickly.
“There is only a very limited window between seeing the onset of symptoms and being able to administer thrombolysis (clot busting drug), so the time saved due to the newly installed telestroke system means that vital time is saved and increases significantly the potential of patients making a full recovery and going on to lead a normal life much more rapidly. It can even mean the difference between life and death, and we are already seeing positive results from the system,” said Colin Lee, senior project manager, NHS Surrey. “Rather than waste valuable time waiting for a consultant to get to a patient, now a patient can have a CT scan, be seen by triage, assessed by a stroke consultant, and have a recommendation in under an hour through Polycom HD video solutions – all while the consultant is at his or her home.”
Supported by the Surrey Stroke and Heart Network and funded for £250,000 (~US$390,000) by the NHS South of England, the Polycom video collaboration solution is making it possible for patients to get round-the-clock specialist, consultant-led care with faster treatment times and improved outcomes for patients. The Polycom video collaboration solution for the Telestroke Network Project includes two mobile Polycom Practitioner carts for each of the five hospitals, plus Polycom video collaboration software on laptops for each of nine consultant stroke physicians that are on call from their homes. Using Polycom video on laptops, the consultants connect to any of the Polycom Practitioner Carts in the five hospitals, right at the patient’s bedside. Controlling a camera remotely, the specialist can see the detailed clinical examination performed by the clinician at the bedside.
“Making 24/7 thrombolysis for stroke patients available at Surrey’s hospitals has been the focus of everyone in the Surrey Heart and Stroke Network for the past three years. We are all delighted that this has now become a reality,” said Felicity Dennis, manager of the Surrey Heart and Stroke Network.
“The Polycom Practitioner cart is a simple but game-changing solution, which gives healthcare providers the means through video collaboration to treat more patients far more flexibly and cost-effectively,” said Andrew Graley, director of healthcare, Polycom EMEA. “Patients are benefiting from on-demand access to scarce stroke experts, making it easier for family and caregivers to cope with and treat this life-threatening condition.”
To learn more about Polycom’s healthcare solutions and other customer examples, please visit http://www.polycom.com/solutions/industry/healthcare.html
The Surrey Hospitals in the Telestroke network are:
- Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
- Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and
- Epsom Hospital Part of Epsom and St Helier University Hospital NHS Trust
*Polycom® Practitioner Cart™ HDX® Unit
Polycom Practitioner Cart mobile healthcare solutions bring high-definition video, audio, and image sharing to medical professionals and patients no matter where they are located.
**Polycom® Video Collaboration Software for Laptops
Polycom video collaboration software for laptops delivers HD-quality audio, video, and content sharing to users. Its intuitive and simplified interface lets users search directories for colleagues and click a name to call, discuss projects, and share virtually anything from their desktop with remote participants and teams.