Hunter Area Health gives boost to Australian telemedicine through Accord's life-saving visual communications tools

Maidenhead 05 October 2000Hunter Area Health, a major provider of health services in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia, is significantly upgrading its visual collaboration network. Therefore, Hunter Area Health has selected Accord Networks, the leading manufacturer of visual and voice networking products and the developer of the V2IPERA family, a product line of network switches, conference bridges, gateways and management systems, which empower Rich Media Communications over IP, ATM and ISDN networks.


Accord's V2IPERA family of products is distributed in Australia by PictureTel Corporation and delivered and implemented by PictureTel's Platinum Reseller, Global Videoconferencing Technologies (GVT). In this way, the visibility of Accord in Australia and New Zealand will be raised by offering a local success story that other health care facilities, corporations and educational networks can emulate.

"The Accord solution will allow the Hunter Area Health physicians to simultaneously consult several of their colleagues around Australia and overseas, and possibly save more lives", stated Tony Green, who is Telemedicine Project Manager for Hunter Area Health. "The system is expected to increase the productivity, efficiency and effectiveness of Hunter medical services", Mr. Green added.

Prospective uses of visual communications enabled by the V2IPERA family include broadcasting large surgeries to and from other medical centres, and conducting training courses for dermatology. "Within few hours of diagnosing cancer in children, our oncology specialists could cross-check test results with other specialists, both in Australia and overseas, to produce an increased accuracy of diagnosis and thus treatment", Mr. Green commented. "Also recently, for the first time in Australia, our forensic pathologist gave evidence from Hunter Area via visual communications in a criminal court case in Western Australia."

"We already know that our PictureTel Venue 2000 and SwiftSite II video-conferencing equipment frees financial and time resources for Hunter Area Health", Mr. Green stated. "At present, with the Accord V2IPERA product family, Hunter Area Health is able to use its own network for visual communications and in this way forgo the fees to large commercial providers."

Trevor Buchanan, the Marketing Director for PictureTel Australia and New Zealand, stated that the Hunter Area Health's purchase of Accord's product was a tremendous boost for the alliance with Accord Networks in Australia and New Zealand. Mr. Buchanan also added: "Accord's products offer tremendous gateway solutions for organisations which participate in visual communications, using a mix of IP, ATM or ISDN networks."

"Accord has enjoyed tremendous success in the telemedicine sector. That is because this sector demands extremely high quality video over IP, ATM, and ISDN networks and Accord's V2IPERA family has been able to provide this. We are particularly pleased to see Accord's success being emulated in Australia and this demonstrates how the company is continuing to expand its reach internationally", stated Philip Keenan, Executive Vice President of Accord.

After the agreement between Accord and PictureTel was made public, Mr. Green immediately ordered $230K worth of equipment and services from Global Videoconferencing Technologies (GVT), PictureTel's Platinum Reseller and Accord Networks' reseller in Australia. "The agreement between PictureTel and Accord has enabled GVT to expand its partnership with Hunter Area Health", stated Steven Neville, NSW State Manager for GVT.

Mr. Neville added: "We already supplied the initial PictureTel visual collaboration equipment and services, including installation of Venue 2000 and SwiftSite II to Hunter Area Health, and we are pleased that we have an opportunity to take them to the next level of visual communications. It gives GVT a nice opportunity to partner with Hunter Area Health to deliver more quality products and services with measurable benefits for the Newcastle community".

Accord's V2IPERA family makes it easy for two or more people to participate in Rich Media Communication sessions without having to know the technical characteristics of their network or their video- or voice-enabled system. Such systems today could be an Internet telephone, regular telephone, video-PC or videoconferencing system. When integrated into a network solution, Accord's products are uniquely positioned to solve many problems currently faced by network designers, such as dealing with multiple speeds and feeds, multiple protocols, multiple networks, and Quality of Service issues.

All of the Accord solutions are managed and controlled under a common management suite and are applied both by end users and service providers who are offering outsourced solutions to customers. The purchase of the Accord V2IPERA family by Hunter Area Health is funded by a grant received under the Networking the Nation programme. This is a Federal Government initiative funded by the partial sale of Telstra.

Leslie Versweyveld

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