Brazos Valley Telehealth Partnership teams with VidiMedix in deployment of large-scale Internet-based Network Medicine

Austin 16 November 1999VidiMedix Corporation has closed an agreement with The Brazos Valley Telehealth Partnership, a collaboration between Texas A&M System Health Science Center, the Family Practice Residency Programme of Brazos Valley and the St. Joseph Regional Health Center to utilise "Network Medicine", with the purpose to enhance the referral and consultation capabilities of participating resident, supervising, Family Practice, as well as specialist physicians.

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The Brazos Valley Telehealth Partnership is a collaborative project between the Texas A&M System Health Science Center College of Medicine, the Family Practice Residency Programme of Brazos Valley and the St. Joseph Regional Health Center. The College of Medicine is centrally located in the Brazos Valley, which encompasses urban, suburban and rural populations.

The new VidiMedix Series 2000 Network Solutions enable clinicians to carry out electronic encounters with their patients over a broadband, electronic network. The VidiMedix Series 2000 technology moves multi-media patient information over the Internet or other IP networks in a secure manner, and allows to conduct interactive patient encounters with the required diagnostic and monitoring devices to be delivered where it is most convenient for the patient, as well as cost-effective and efficient for the health care provider.

Phil Faris, President and Chief Executive Officer of VidiMedix is pleased for having established this partnership with Texas A&M System Health Science Center and the Brazos Valley Telehealth Partnership. The rise of the Internet together with the explosive growth in both broadband communications and pervasive computing technology has made health care system architectures shift to multi-media patient information over IP networks, as Mr. Phil Faris claims. The consumer demand for convenient, reliable and efficient access to health care services is growing in parallel with the need to control costs for the delivery of health care.

Timothy Manning, Ph.D., who is the Director of the Brazos Valley Telehealth Partnership, noted that the traditional vision for health care has always been one of information solutions that can integrate the entire continuum of care. Presentation and delivery of health care services via the Internet forms a vital component of that vision. Dr. Manning's choice fell on VidiMedix because the company has developed the only practical system to support the vision of his organisation.

The goal of the Brazos Valley Telehealth Partnership is simply to deliver the highest quality of care to every patient at every location within the system. "Today we are taking the first step in a journey that will lead to better care and better service for all the stakeholders, from the individual patient to the medical school research scientist", Dr. Manning stated.

Nancy Dickey, M.D., Director of the Family Practice Residency Programme of Brazos Valley, observed that her goal in leading this programme is to create an environment which places the full services of an academic medical centre and multi-speciality medical practice at the disposal of every physician who undergoes his or her residency training, of every supervisor who is working with residents and ultimately, of every Family Practice doctor in the Brazos Valley. "Only by placing this level of resource at the fingertips of every newly trained physician can we truly prepare them for how health care must be delivered in the 21st century", said Dr. Dickey.

Paul Robbins, area vice president of VidiMedix commented that The Brazos Valley Telehealth Partnership should be recognised as the model for health care delivery in the 21st century. From the beginning, their focus on patient confidentiality, system security, clinical workflow and auditability meshed perfectly with VidiMedix' vision for the Series 2000 product. "From the virtual campus to the virtual clinic, this organisation has committed itself to the development of a practical, convenient and cost-effective system for the delivery of next-generation health care", according to Mr. Robbins.

The College of Medicine of the Texas A&M System Health Science Center was originally conceived to operate within a virtual campus, with the two year basic medical science courses taught at the College Station campus and the two year clinical experience occurring at the Temple campus over seventy miles away. The establishment of the Brazos Valley Telehealth Partnership is a component in the development of a broader TAMUSHSC network, which facilitates the academic operations of a teaching institution together with the integration of the practical aspects of clinical operations into the curriculum.

St. Joseph Regional Health Center has established a web of hospitals, health clinics and physicians in an effort to extend its health care ministry into the counties which border the Brazos Valley of North Central Texas. Through the St. Joseph network, the Sisters of Saint Francis have been caring for the residents of the Brazos Valley for over sixty years. St. Joseph Health System to date consists of five hospitals, eight family practice and general medicine clinics and three speciality clinics. The St. Joseph Physician Network has been integrated to provide services throughout a 12 county area in the heart of the Brazos Valley.

The Family Practice Residency Programme of Brazos Valley is a community programme partnering with Texas A&M System College of Medicine, Saint Joseph Regional Health Center, The College Station Medical Center, the Brazos-Robertson Counties Medical Society, the Brazos Valley Chapter of the TAFP, the Brazos County Health Department, and College Station Scott & White Clinic. Founded by and under the direction of Dr. Nancy W. Dickey, 1998-1999 President of the American Medical Association, the mission of the programme is to train family physicians in the skills necessary to use all of the magnificence of innovative science and technology blended expertly with caring, compassion, and insight.

VidiMedix "Network Medicine" solutions address the problems facing health care enterprises in delivering convenient, high-quality care to patients. VidiMedix' telemedicine solutions enable the remote examination, diagnosis and treatment of health care consumers by health care providers when a direct, face-to-face interaction is inconvenient, costly, inefficient or ineffective. The VidiMedix Series 2000 Internet-based telemedicine solution provides a strategic framework for distributed real time health care delivery across the enterprise. VidiMedix is a privately held corporation dedicated to the development of next-generation Internet-based telemedicine solutions.


Leslie Versweyveld

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