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Vidyo pushes the boundaries of teleconferencing

By Eric Wicklund, Editor, ATA 2012 Show Dailies

HACKENSACK, NJ – From the far northern expanses of Canada to the Australian Outback, Vidyo is extending the reach of healthcare providers with a teleconferencing solution designed to make the video consult as easy, natural and integrated as possible.

The Hackensack, N.J.-based company, which is exhibiting at ATA 2012, offers a 'Vidyo for Healthcare' platform that's designed to enable "natural, HD, multi-point videoconferences on tablets and smartphones, PCs and Macs, room systems, gateways that interoperate with H.323 and SIP endpoints, telepresence solutions and affordable, cloud-based broadcast solutions," the company stated.

Videoconferencing "is now part of the healthcare process," said Amnon Gavish, the company's senior vice president of vertical solutions.

For instance, Vidyo's platform is being used by Massachusetts General Hospital to extend Lee Schwamm's pioneering teleneurology program to more than 40 hospitals around New England, allowing physicians to quickly diagnose and treat a patient suffering from stroke in that critical first few hours. It's also being integrated into American Well's Online Care product, and in the past year it has helped the Ontario Telehealth Network – one of the largest of its kind in the world – to extend its reach to more than 13 million people from the American border to the Hudson Bay.

"Thousands of healthcare professionals use OTN to deliver care across the province," said Ed Brown, the network's CEO, in an August 2011 press release announcing the deal. "Most of our current endpoints are hosted on a private network, but in order to expand our program into patients' homes and the broader community, we needed a video conferencing solution that operates securely over the Internet, so that it can be accessed via laptops and desktop computers by both healthcare providers and tele-homecare patients."

"We need a solution that is cost-effective, scalable and boasts high video quality, among other things. But we also need a solution that is highly interoperable so that it can work with our existing, older systems," he added. "After an exhaustive evaluation of solutions, we determined that Vidyo was the preferred solution that met, and exceeded our requirements."

According to Gavish, Vidyo is now working with the Royal Flying Doctor service, Australia's air-based emergency and primary healthcare service, to extend videoconferencing capabilities to remote locations across the continent. The company also has recent partnerships in place with REACH Health and Rubbermaid, and is pushing its platform out to mobile devices, from iPads and other tablets to smartphones.

"We're creating accessibility to patient homes, rural locations, even emergency vehicles," said Gavish, who sees teleconferencing as enabling quicker, more meaningful and more frequent interactions between patients and their caregivers.

Just last week, the company announced another significant partnership with Philips. The collaboration will combine Philips Healthcare's telehealth solutions with Vidyo's Adaptive Video Layering Technology, which allows for the continuous monitoring of performance levels for the underlying network and connected mobile devices, including laptops, tablets and smartphones.

"We are excited to collaborate with Vidyo to leverage its cutting-edge telepresence technologies to enhance the flexibility and scalability of our telehealth solutions," said Mike Mancuso, senior vice president and general manager of enterprise patient informatics solutions and patient monitoring systems for Andover, Mass.-based Philips Healthcare, in a press release. "Philips is committed to working with industry leaders to better address healthcare needs by expanding telehealth services beyond the ICU, as well as externally to remote clinics, physician offices and into the home."  

"The collaboration between Philips and Vidyo is not only a boon to our respective companies, but to the telehealth industry in general," Gavish said in a press release announcing the partnership. "Telehealth has now come of age, driven by global demand and, in the U.S., empowered by new laws and legislation like the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). There is an ever-increasing need for easier access to affordable, high-quality telehealth, which the Philips-Vidyo platform will uniquely satisfy. Healthcare providers and patients alike will benefit from this solution's extremely natural interaction experience, enabled by the very low latency of Vidyo's technology. This high-quality experience enhances the remote physician – patient interaction, promoting a higher level of patient trust."

Vidyo is at Booth 936 in the ATA Exhibit Hall.

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