Healthcare IT and Technology News December 20, 2011. Polycom, Inc. PLCM +4.58% , the global leader in standards-based unified communications (UC), announced that Beijing Ditan Hospital recently deployed Polycom's comprehensive UC video solutions, including the Polycom(R) RealPresence(TM) Platform -- the most comprehensive software infrastructure for universal video collaboration, interoperating with the broadest range of business, mobile and social applications, and devices -- upon which it has built an extensive telemedicine network to contain and prevent the spread of infectious diseases throughout China, save invaluable treatment time, and enable effective use of critical resources.
As an international infectious disease prevention and treatment hospital, Beijing Ditan Hospital has an obligation to provide a secure environment for the containment of diseases and implement strict processes to respond, identify, and treat diseases in an effective and efficient manner. However, with in-person patient care often proving difficult and time-consuming as patients are required to be quarantined to ensure full recovery and prevent the spread of disease, the hospital turned to Polycom to deploy an extensive telemedicine network, allowing specialists and patients to connect via video. The network includes an emergency command center with video sites across the hospital network for the purposes of facilitating remote treatment and for practitioners to report patient updates back to the command center to identify any potential new and harmful diseases.
The Polycom video system lets experts and patients communicate face-to-face over high quality video and conduct thorough examinations and analysis from any location. Experts can also use video to examine X-rays, determine the patient's prognosis, and provide an effective and reasonable treatment plan, saving in treatment costs and downtime. In addition, the Polycom solution has enabled Beijing Ditan Hospital to streamline specialist care without sacrificing on quality, contributing to higher public safety levels by reducing the risk of spreading disease and ensuring the wellbeing of the patients. According to Beijing Ditan Hospital, a major benefit of the Polycom solution is its scalable and secure infrastructure, the Polycom RealPresence Platform, which spans the UC functions of universal video collaboration, video resource management, virtualization management, universal access and security, and video content management -- providing the security, scalability, and ease-of-use required to deliver effective telehealth services to patients on a broad scale. Incorporating Polycom's standards-based video compression technology that reduces bandwidth requirements by up to 50 percent has resulted in more cost-effective communications across the hospital. The telemedicine system serves a variety of uses and functions throughout the hospital, including:
Telemedicine Emergency Command Center
The hospital's 'Telemedicine Emergency Command Center' is designed to monitor and control infectious diseases. The hospital has established a clear set of processes, whereby practitioners can report new developments in diseases, as well as the management thereof, to the command center via video. This process alerts authorities to potential new virus strains, and ensures a prompt response to contain and control the spread of the disease to maintain public safety levels.
Remote Visits for Highly Infectious and Quarantined Patients
Beijing Ditan Hospital is focused on safety and efficiency first, and has very strict visiting rules to prevent cross-infection. As such, family and friends are often unable to visit patients in-person.
In order to address this, the hospital deployed Polycom(R) VVX(R) 1500 video media phones, integrating high-definition audio and video with an easy-to-use interface. This has enabled family members to communicate with the patient through video calls, helping to raise the mood of the patient and the eagerness of the family to visit. The remote video visit system simplifies the procedure of visit management and also improves the doctor-patient relationship for the hospital. Distance Medical Training and Education Experts are now able to share news and advanced medical treatment information and technology across different regions throughout China, resulting in a greater knowledge base and medical service outside the hospital. In addition to sharing information through live broadcasts, encrypted sessions are securely stored and re-played for training purposes, which is made possible through the video content management system of the Polycom RealPresence Platform.
Teleconsultation and Intensive Care Therapy
Expert doctors and patients can now provide remote consultations and intensive care therapy treatments, resulting in treatment being reached much quicker and care provided in-real time. Experts are also on-hand for a more detailed consultation and families can be kept abreast of treatments without having to enter the ward, contributing to a reduction in administrative costs.
"The Polycom telemedicine system significantly improves the efficiency of the hospital. The professional development of the medical team has been enhanced through remote training and information sharing, and the quality of doctor-patient interactions has improved significantly through experts being able to closely examine and consult with remote patients in real-time over high-definition quality. The result is improved access to medical expertise, increased patient welfare and more effective use of critical resources," said Beijing Ditan Hospital. Polycom vice president for China, Steven Li said, "Telemedicine applications designed to accelerate the quality and delivery of patient care are vital for healthcare systems throughout the world. Polycom is making significant investments in product development in the healthcare industry and beyond, through HD video solutions and the Polycom RealPresence Platform, to enable instant communication and collaboration anywhere, anytime. These advancements make the efficiency of telemedicine applications viable and an important consideration for healthcare practitioners."
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