Global high-speed network to unlock Johns Hopkins' telemedicine expertise internationally

Baltimore 14 December 1999Johns Hopkins Medicine and Lucent Technologies have closed an agreement to promote telemedicine applications globally through the use of information technology. Under the terms of this contract, Lucent and Johns Hopkins International L.L.C., which was formed earlier this year to advance the international objectives of Johns Hopkins Medicine, will jointly design a secure, high-speed network to support Johns Hopkins' growing telemedicine applications and to manage incoming and outgoing information. The network is also expected to make it much easier for patients from around the world to access Hopkins' physicians and facilities.

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Hopkins will develop international offerings in the areas of health care consulting, patient services, education and training, while Lucent will provide the requested hardware and software, and the networking expertise needed to support these services. The new medical information management and delivery network will position Hopkins to extend its medical expertise to the far corners of the world, according to Steven Thompson, CEO of JHI or Johns Hopkins International. Steven Thompson believes there is a growing demand in many parts of the world for the innovative medical services which Hopkins is known for.

"The issue is no longer distance, it's time, and working with Lucent, we can tailor a sophisticated network, serving patients from the United States to Hong Kong", Mr. Thompson continues. Jim O'Neill, who is president of Lucent's Government Solutions Business, is convinced there exists a growing global market for communications networks to support health and human services agencies. He estimates that there's a multi-billion dollar market for global health care. In the international arena, these are typically government initiatives. Mr. O'Neill is ready to pursue these initiatives to enable hospitals and clinics around the world to access the resources Hopkins is offering.

Following the terms of the contract, Lucent has agreed to deliver a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, which is based on the company's CRM products and services, including a comprehensive suite of software to assist Hopkins with customer contact and information management. As for the confidentiality of the patient records, this will be ensured by the Lucent Managed Firewall. In addition, hardware and software will support patient assessment and continuing education through videoconferencing, video e-mail, and diagnostic image and record transfer. The equipment also involves an archived video library for publications and video versions from Hopkins' grand rounds, as well as third-party products to permit real time telerobotic-assisted surgery.

As far as telemedicine implementation is concerned, Lucent will provide all of the requested state-of-the-art telephony, data, video and wireless products, as well as the network systems required by the medical facilities. Local area communications networks will be installed within Hopkins in East Baltimore as well as a wide area Virtual Private Network (VPN), which will link JHI sites with Hopkins in the United States. In fact, it will be "converged" networks supporting integrated voice, video, and data transmission. Lucent will equally take care of integrating quality assurance and billing software.

Crucial to the view of a global health care enterprise is a communications network which unites the distant centres and home base, as Dr. Edward D. Miller, M.D., CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine and dean of its medical faculty states. "Lucent permits real time interactive communications that not only help provide better health care at the local level, but also enhance the continuing education and training of physicians throughout the world. And, with a Johns Hopkins Global Patient Access Programme, when patients need specialised medical services not available locally, they will have a far easier time coming to Hopkins."

According to William A. Baumgartner, M.D., director of cardiac surgery and president of Hopkins' Clinical Practice Association, Hopkins and Lucent are bringing together excellence in medicine and telecommunications, in turn promising the quality and expertise in order to further develop and refine the emerging telemedicine capabilities. Lucent Technologies is headquartered in Murray Hill, New Jersey, where the company designs, builds, and delivers a wide range of public and private networks, communications systems and software, data networking systems, business telephone systems and micro-electronic components. Bell Labs is the research and development arm for the company.

Johns Hopkins Medicine, established in 1995 to unite Hopkins' biomedical research, clinical, teaching and business enterprises, includes The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Howard County General Hospital, Johns Hopkins Medical Services Corporation, Johns Hopkins Bayview Physicians, Johns Hopkins Health Care and Johns Hopkins Home Care Group. The $1.8 billion enterprise is one of the largest employers in the state of Maryland. Its components consistently are named at the top of national rankings for best hospital and best School of Medicine and its faculty at regular times wins the largest share of National Institute of Health (NIH) research funds. Results of this research continue to advance efforts to diagnose, treat and prevent lots of diseases.

Johns Hopkins International L.L.C. was founded last January to serve as the corporate arm, allowing Johns Hopkins Medicine to enter into international agreements. In addition, JHI assists foreign patients coming to Hopkins in Baltimore; helps faculty, staff and administration dealing with international health care issues; and develops novel international business opportunities. Components of JHI include telemedicine, an area of medicine which Hopkins has helped pioneer; international patient services; international health care consulting services; Johns Hopkins Singapore and Johns Hopkins Singapore Clinical Services; and the new office in the United Arab Emirates.


Leslie Versweyveld

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