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Polycom Helps Healthcare Organizations Reduce Unnecessary Rehospitalizations, Supports Prevention and Wellness with New Video Collaboration Solutions
Posted on Monday, May 6, 2013
Polycom Helps Healthcare Organizations Reduce Unnecessary Rehospitalizations, Supports Prevention and Wellness with New Video Collaboration Solutions
  • Anybots’ “QB” robot is equipped with a tablet running Polycom® RealPresence® Mobile video so patients can stay engaged with caregivers, friends and family, for enhanced quality of care and life
  • Vivify Health’s solution for mobile devices lets in-home patients connect to healthcare personnel over secure Polycom HD video for improved remote patient monitoring
  • ATA 2013, Booth 632: Polycom showcases video collaboration solutions including robotics, mobile apps and RealPresence CloudAXIS Suite, and announces new healthcare customer applications
AMERICAN TELEMEDICINE ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE, AUSTIN, Tex. - May 06, 2013: Helping healthcare organizations improve medical care, and supporting prevention and wellness initiatives with HD video collaboration, Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in open, standards-based unified communications and collaboration (UC&C), today announced alliances with robotics innovator Anybots Inc. and patient-monitoring company Vivify Health, Inc. to develop new video collaboration solutions that can help reduce unnecessary rehospitalizations. The company also recently announced the availability of Polycom® RealPresence® CloudAXIS™ Suite that extends secure, reliable and high-quality enterprise-grade video collaboration to anyone with a browser and Web camera, making it even easier for healthcare organizations to connect face-to-face with patients or other experts outside the hospital.
Telemedicine continues to gain significant momentum in the healthcare industry, with organizations around the world using Polycom video solutions to help provide better care and even save lives, from telestroke and teleneurology programs, to surgery consultations, to prevention and wellness initiatives and beyond.
“Today our healthcare system is challenged with an aging population, too few practitioners, and adjusting to a major change in its approach to patient care. With collaborative video solutions you can address access, prevention and wellness, and continuation of care, all of which becomes important as we try to tackle the problem of unnecessary rehospitalizations,” said Dr. Deborah A. Jeffries, Director Global Healthcare Marketing, Polycom. “Video collaboration solutions such as Polycom RealPresence CloudAXIS Suite enable healthcare organizations to extend video to anyone that has a camera and Web browser, so now healthcare practitioners can easily reach patients in their homes to provide an increased level of care or easily consult with other experts outside the hospital.”
Polycom Video Brings Healthcare Experts Bedside and Lets In-Home Patients Travel Virtually
Video-enabled applications such as robots and tablet apps give medical specialists flexibility in how they schedule appointments, including virtual house calls, whether in the office, at the hospital, on the go or at home. These video collaboration solutions are powerful innovations in healthcare that can promote richer conversations, more effective discussions, and faster decision-making, which can cut costs by reducing the number of situations where patients need to be re-admitted to the hospital for closer examination.
  • Video-Enabled Robotics: The first in a series of Polycom video-enabled robots from Anybots, the self-balancing two-wheeled “QB” robot is equipped with a tablet running the award-winning Polycom® RealPresence® Mobile software for a secure HD video session. The maneuverability of the QB can be controlled remotely by administrative personnel, specialists such as language interpreters, or medical care practitioners who can use the robot to evaluate the safety and suitability of the patient’s environment. For patients at home, the robot provides a virtual technology option that can help them return to work, school and social activities sooner. 
  • Mobile Video Collaboration Apps: Vivify Health’s care management platform engages patients in their own care. The platform, which can run on a variety of mobile devices, integrates with healthcare information systems by gathering data input by the user and collected from non-intrusive peripheral medical devices such as weight scales, and then sends the data to caregivers in a secure manner. The patient can simply request a video meeting with a healthcare professional by selecting the video option in the Vivify solution; this launches the Polycom RealPresence Mobile software. Similarly, if the healthcare professional monitoring the patient’s data wants to schedule a video meeting or initiate an ad hoc session, they would launch a Polycom RealPresence video collaboration solution, such as Polycom® RealPresence® Desktop, to start a video meeting directly with the patient.
New Healthcare Use Cases for Browser-Based Video Collaboration
Polycom RealPresence CloudAXIS Suite is a pure software extension of the Polycom® RealPresence® Platform, enabling universal access to enterprise-grade video collaboration to hundreds of millions of people, allowing healthcare organizations to easily meet face-to-face with anyone with a browser, whether they are on a PC, mobile device or video room system. In addition, by integrating Skype, Facebook and Google Talk contacts in the industry’s first global presence-aware personal directory, the solution combines the click-to-connect convenience of a Web app with the enterprise-grade, secure experience required for organizations to scale to hundreds or thousands of video users. Polycom RealPresence CloudAXIS Suite is an easy way for healthcare organizations to connect to each other, specialists and patients for more productive discussions and consultations over video. (For more information about Polycom RealPresence CloudAXIS Suite, see the related press release.)
“Polycom RealPresence CloudAXIS Suite will provide healthcare clinicians with an easy-to-use and secure method of communicating with patients at home using their own devices – such as a PC or tablet – and software which they are already familiar with,” said Iain Robertson, Head of IT infrastructure and Operations at NHS Lothian, which provides healthcare services for the second-largest residential population in Scotland of approximately 800,000 people. “Patients will be able to avoid unnecessary trips to hospital clinics and have pre-scheduled video meetings, and our clinical staff will initiate the consultations by sending a URL to the patients. This ‘virtual clinic’ model will change the way we provide care, making it easier and more efficient for all parties involved, and is building on the existing video capability of the organization.”
Using video also reduces travel time for patients and healthcare providers, and helps providers use clinicians’ time more efficiently. While this is especially valuable for patients in remote locations, it also encourages patients everywhere to stay in close touch with their providers by making it simpler for them to do so.
"Rural medicine is such a challenge due to the distances that must be covered and limited resources," said Philip Wolford, coordinator of Saint Vincent's regional telemedicine network. "Our teleneurology program is a great example of how Polycom video collaboration helps us overcome that challenge and has literally changed the way we practice medicine. It is patient-centered care in the purest form. By reducing rehospitalizations, our program is driving costs down for patients and other payers."