Phil Hitchings, PAMF chief information officer, stated that the gigabit capacity, up to a billion bits per second, of Yipes' network puts PAMF out front in health-related information technology capabilities. "We're keeping ahead of the techno-wave. We are racing forward with innovative applications in imaging, teleconferencing from the desktop, full-motion video, interactive distance learning, and several other areas which will require very high speeds and broad bandwidth", according to Mr. Hitchings.
"The increased bandwidth provided by Yipes will enable us to transmit huge volumes of CT scans to other facilities in seconds", explained Mr. Hitchings. "The core of the system will be a closed, private network to assure complete security for confidential patient information. Additionally, the Yipes optical IP network will also allow a direct, high-capacity connection to the Internet for linking Palo Alto Medical Foundation with the other health care providers or business partners throughout the world."
"It's hard to imagine any limits on what PAMF will be able to do with this capacity", stated Mr. Frank Robles, vice president for operations at Yipes. "The bandwidth we provide will offer exciting opportunities to enhance patient services while controlling costs. This will put PAMF at the technological forefront of the health care industry."
"Gartner Group believes that health care is an industry which will benefit greatly from sophisticated networked applications. By enabling Palo Alto Medical Foundation to provide telemedicine and various other high touch health care applications over the network, Yipes is positioned to serve this important and rapidly growing market", commented Mr. Jay Pultz, Vice President and Research Director, Gartner Group.
PAMF equally plans to use the increased bandwidth that Yipes provides for cost-effective educational diagnosis and self care. For example, with Yipes' network, patients will be able to view full video demonstrations on the proper techniques for bandaging a sprained ankle without any return doctor visits.
PAMF will not initially use or have to pay for the full capacity available from Yipes' network. One of the unique strengths of Yipes is that it offers fully scalable bandwidth, from 1 Mbps to 1 Gbps, in 1 Mbps increments, as Mr. Hitchings added. "It gives us room to grow at whatever pace we need. With Yipes, we only pay for what we use."
Yipes' fiber optic link, scheduled to be completed this fall, will complement an earlier installation at the medical facility of high-speed, high-capacity local area network switches. "This type of network allows us future expansion", was Mr. Hitchings' comment on the combined systems. "We're planning for growth before the growth takes place."
PAMF has been using a copper-wire-based network, which has been reliable but far slower than the new optical network. PAMF will connect its satellite facilities to Yipes' network beginning with the Redwood City office. PAMF's Fremont Center will follow, along with the Los Altos Center and the speciality Sunnyvale Sports Medicine Center. Also, the PAMF Medical Transcription department will be connected.
Scott Nichols, PAMF technical services manager, stated that PAMF staff and doctors are increasingly enthusiastic about the new systems. Physicians are getting jazzed about where we're going, according to Mr. Nichols. "They are seeing the advantages. It will increase the quality of care and efficiency by providing information more quickly. The traditional desktop computer plus the Internet create a window to the world of health care. Yipes' novel high-speed connection will open that window very wide."
Yipes is the defining provider of a new class of managed optical IP networks. Yipes leverages the elegance of native Ethernet technology to provide service which is smoothly scalable, in 1 Mbps increments, from 1 Mbps to 1 Gbps, enabling the next generation of Internet services. Yipes' networks provide roughly twice the bandwidth at 80 percent of the price of traditional data communications services.
Yipes' is funded by Norwest Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), The Sprout Group/DLJ, Soros Fund Management, Chase Capital Partners/Hambrecht & Quist, BancBoston Ventures/Robertson Stephens, NewSpeed Capital and strategic investors Juniper Networks Inc., Extreme Networks, and Intel Capital.
The Palo Alto Medical Foundation is a large not-for-profit medical group practice based in Palo Alto since the 1920s. It provides care to nearly half the households in the Mid-peninsula region between Sunnyvale and San Mateo, as well as to a growing number of patients in the East Bay.
PAMF also encompasses an active Education Division that provides health promotion and disease-management information for the entire community, and a Research Institute that conducts basic scientific research relating to human health. PAMF relocated its Palo Alto services into a new, $120-million campus on El Camino Real in early December '99. The fiber-optic connection will cap its preparations for the next century of health care.