FDA-cleared tele-health system to monitor patients at home over the telephone

Rochester 18 February 2000The United States Food and Drug Administration has cleared the way for Eastman Kodak Company's Health Imaging Division to market the Kodak LifeView Care Station, a new two-way health monitoring system which enables health care check-ups of homebound patients through standard telephone lines.


The Kodak LifeView Care Station permits full audio and video communication between health professionals and patients, and allows transmission of vital signs and general health care data directly from the home to the health professional's office. The Kodak LifeView Care Station is intended to be part of a comprehensive care plan which includes in-person check-ups by visiting nurses and tele-health check-ups with the Kodak LifeView Care Station.

Tele-health, a relatively new term, is distinct from telemedicine. While telemedicine means electronic communication between two physicians, tele-health is the exchange of health care information directly between the patient and nurse, physician or other provider. The LifeView Care Station includes a stethoscope, a blood pressure cuff, a thermometer, a monitor, a video camera, allowing the medical professional to visually assess the patient, and a telephone.

The patient station is set up in the home, while the patient or caregiver is trained by the nurse. The Kodak LifeView Care Station visit begins when the nurse calls the patient and the Care Station is connected. The clinical data and images are collected by the patient station and are transmitted to the medical professional in real time, then dated and stored as a documentation of the visit. In addition, the unit functions as a regular telephone.

Kodak's $2 billion health and medical imaging division is presently field testing the unit and will begin volume production of the device this year. The Kodak LifeView Care Station system will be available to patients through home health providers who purchase the equipment and offer tele-health service. First units are expected to be available in the third quarter of 2000. The Kodak LifeView Care Station is one of the first products introduced by Kodak's Health Imaging Division for use in health imaging applications, other than radiology.

Kodak's Health Imaging Division is a leading global provider of products and services for the capture, processing, presentation, distribution and printing of images for diagnostic and non-diagnostic applications. The company has a long history of leadership beginning in 1896 when it introduced the first product designed to capture images created by the just-discovered x-ray, to its most recent offering, which are three state-of-the-art systems for digital radiography, announced in 1999.

Please, also read the article CyberCare granted patent on patient-friendly tele-monitoring system in the VMW January 2000 issue on the somewhat related Electronic HouseCall system.

Leslie Versweyveld

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