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Medical Missions for Children Expands Its Polycom-Powered Lifesaving Telemedicine Network to Armenia
Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Polycom Foundation donates technology solutions to Medical Mission for Children's (MMC's) global Telemedicine Outreach Program that provides direct care to more than 28,000 seriously ill children
PLEASANTON, Calif. - Feb 21, 2012 : Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in standards-based unified communications (UC), today announced that the company is helping Medical Missions for Children (MMC) to expand its lifesaving telemedicine network to Armenia. This is the next step in the 12-year partnership between Polycom (through the Polycom Foundation) and MMC dedicated to helping doctors improve medical outcomes for critically-ill children throughout the world and eliminating the knowledge disparity that exists within the global healthcare community. Through its network, MMC enables volunteer physicians in the U.S. to consult with peer physicians, examine patients, and offer treatment plans to children in Armenia using the Polycom® RealPresence™ Platform and RealPresence video collaboration devices. Beyond Armenia, MMC physicians are working with tens of thousands of patients in over 100 countries.
Polycom Foundation and MMC Partnership: Helping Doctors Improve Children's Health and Lives for 12+ Years 
In poor nations, children under five years of age bear 30 percent of the total burden of disease. Of the 11 million children under five who die each year, more than 85 percent are from medically underserved countries. This translates to 40,000 children dying each day. Frank Brady founded MMC in 1999 in response to this global health care crisis. Using a telemedicine network based on Polycom video collaboration systems, MMC has dramatically improved pediatric care for children with severe medical conditions living in medically underserved areas.
"The ability to educate physicians regarding new medicines and procedures and to assist in effectively diagnosing and treating patients over great distances through face-to-face interaction and real-time data exchange is creating a new paradigm for international pediatric medicine," said Brady. "Our organization's goal is to help one million children through the Global Telemedicine Teaching Network by speeding the dissemination of medical knowledge all over the world."
Michael Lamacchia, MD, Chairman of Pediatrics, St. Joseph's Children's Hospital, explained the power of video in medicine from the individual doctor's point of view: "What I have found most impressive about participating in an MMC telemedicine session is the feeling that I am actually in the same room – and the same part of the world – as the doctor and patient with whom I am consulting. I am able to conduct an examination and actually listen to the heartbeat of a child who is 8,000 miles away, as if I were using my own stethoscope."
Expanding Polycom-Powered Telemedicine to Armenia with Immediate Life-saving Impact
The new initiative to expand Polycom video collaboration to Armenia started with funds donated by the Richard D. Donchian Foundation, designated to improve patient care and provide professional enrichment for doctors responsible for the treatment of Armenian children. Now two Armenian telemedicine sites powered with Polycom® HDX® video systems connect with MMC's Telemedicine Outreach Program. MMC physicians with specialties in areas such as infectious diseases, cardiology, pulmonology, gastroenterology, oncology, neurology and nephrology consult remotely with more than 100 patients per year. (See the related video.)
"Polycom video technology is literally a lifeline for many critically ill children," said John Riehl, MMC president and COO. "In one recent instance, we used the Polycom platform to connect a group of U.S.-based pediatric neurologists and Armenian physicians to confer about a four-year-old girl in Armenia who was unable to breathe on her own. After a telemedicine consult, the U.S. doctors determined that the girl had contracted a rare polyneuropathy called Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP). In just a few days after the diagnosis and treatment through MMC, the young girl was able to breathe on her own and today is in a state of full recovery."
The RealPresence Platform delivers secure video collaboration in the ways that work best for any given customer – across any combination of environments (on the road, at home, at work, in conference rooms, or immersive theatres) and device (smart phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and office and room systems). The MMC Telemedicine Network runs on the RealPresence Platform, and connects Polycom video endpoints with medical devices such as remote stethoscopes, ophthalmoscopes, and otoscopes. MMC records and archives each video consultation using Polycom's Video Content Management. MMC is now looking at the Polycom RealPresence Mobile software solution to determine how they can leverage tablet computing to quickly and flexibly extend their reach to even more locations.
"Recently, we had a telemedicine session with a two-year-old Armenian girl who was suffering from jaundice and an enlarged abdomen," said Dr. Lamacchia. "After conducting a telemedicine consult during which we were able to view the young girl as if we were in the room with her, including asking more targeted questions, together we concluded that she had a rare autoimmune condition and liver fibrosis. Polycom's HD-quality video helped allow us to make that diagnosis. Now the girl is improving. These cases make our work so rewarding, and as Polycom pushes its technology into the mobile space, we'll have even more of these success stories."
Specifically, Polycom's RealPresence Platform and third-party telemedicine devices allow simultaneous transfer of HD multimedia content, allowing physicians to share the recording of an MRI exam, CT scan, or PET scan without loss of video quality or detail, further expanding the available resources that MMC can use to diagnose children in Armenia and around the world.
As the video collaboration technology sponsor of Medical Missions for Children's Telemedicine Outreach Network, Polycom (through the Polycom Foundation) links pediatric doctors at 27 U.S. medical institutions with 700 doctors and their patients in over 100 countries worldwide. Polycom solutions remove the barrier of distance, bringing together the doctors who volunteer their crucial expertise to improve the health of the young lives served by Medical Missions for Children. The Polycom Foundation is a global philanthropic and community relations program that supports positive changes in education, healthcare, and local communities around the world through its products, resources and employees.
Polycom UC Solutions and Polycom RealPresence Platform and Endpoints
Polycom UC solutions create a highly collaborative environment that significantly improves learning and engagement, as well as overall productivity and efficiency. Offerings include HD voice and video solutions for personal, mobile, group, and immersive telepresence experiences. Polycom helps companies of all sizes, in all industries, become high-performance workplaces where people collaborate on-demand between any location, over any network, with their device of choice.
The RealPresence Platform is the most comprehensive software infrastructure for universal video collaboration, and delivers the industry's only universal bridging software that supports up to 75,000 device registrat