PictureTel to provide Partners In Health with iPower solutions for tuberculosis tele-consultation and education

Andover 07 November 2000Partners In Health, a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to improving the health of poor communities, has selected PictureTel Corporation, a global leader in integrated collaboration, to deliver the PictureTel 900 Series for remote medical consultation and distance education relating to the Partners in Health tuberculosis initiative. The PictureTel 900 Series products utilise the next-generation iPower integrated collaboration architecture, developed jointly by PictureTel and Intel.

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Partners in Health purchased the systems from the PictureTel partner, 2C Communications Group, which is headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, and has donated time and services to Partners in Health. The 2C company offers integrated solutions to provide a full range of video-conferencing products for a number of unique applications. The firm offers gateway, bridging, voice over Internet Protocol (IP), and streaming products and services for enterprise networks, as well as a full range of technical support services.

Established in 1987, Partners In Health (PIH) is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to improving the health of poor communities. The Partners in Health tuberculosis initiative has succeeded, in collaboration with the Open Society Institute and the World Health Organisation, in effecting a material change in the approach of global public health authorities to the problem of drug resistant tuberculosis.

Staff members were instrumental in describing the MDR-TB epidemic in the comprehensive and ground-breaking Harvard/Open Society Institute Report on the Impact of Drug Resistant Tuberculosis. Pilot treatment programmes for MDR-TB, based on PIH's successes in Lima, Peru, have been planned or are underway on three continents. Partners in Health is using the PictureTel 900 Series to connect facilities in Boston, Atlanta, and soon Peru, enabling staff to harness expertise from each location and conduct training sessions. Using the Image Share device, experts involved in the tuberculosis initiative are able to remotely view and discuss lung X-rays.

"Although we are working in some of the poorest communities in the hemisphere, we have always tried to use technology to further our aims of improving health outcomes", discussed Jim Yong Kim, the executive director and Yusuf Karacaoglu, information technology. "Our previous experiences with video-conferencing had been positive but we were very pleasantly surprised when we first began working with the PictureTel 900 Series units. The images were clearly superior and the annoying delays in transmission were dramatically reduced."

"By utilising this technology for communication, training, and even patient care, we are hopeful that we will be able to improve patient outcomes for our drug-resistant TB and other patients much more rapidly. We are also grateful to PictureTel and 2C for working so closely with us and offering so many free services in the process of getting us up and running. We look forward to maintaining a very productive relationship with both of them as we will expand our video-conferencing network to Haiti and the Russian Federation", stated Mr. Jim Yong Kim.

The PictureTel 900 Series delivers very powerful telemedicine functionality, according to Shari Goodstein, president of 2C Communications Group. "Organisations such as Partners in Health are putting the technology to its best possible use, enabling remote experts to collaborate on critical medical research and education."

The iPower architecture, as embodied in the PictureTel 900 Series products, is a breakthrough technology which finally gives users as much power and flexibility to share information in a meeting with remote sites as most users enjoy in meetings at one location. Full resolution slides and PC information is simply provided at all sites with the touch of a button. Complete, full-resolution interaction with the user's Local Area Network or the Internet is a built-in feature. The system provides the most powerful system management capabilities of any product in this class of communications equipment.

The 2C Communications Group assists businesses in leveraging both audio and video technology to meet present and future communications needs. The firm offers integrated solutions to provide the full range of video-conferencing products for a number of unique applications. 2C equally offers gateway, bridging, and streaming products and services for enterprise networks. The technical support services include training, consultative services, network troubleshooting, and product support.

PictureTel Corporation is the world leader in developing, manufacturing, and marketing a full range of visual and audio collaboration platforms. Also, this company owns a communications Application Service Provider (ASP) which substantially simplifies the network complexity inherent in mixed rich media collaboration. PictureTel markets network conferencing servers in addition to the complete range of end-point products. It delivers a global capability to service and support, and provides complete solutions for customers needing rich media communications. PictureTel is fundamentally in the business of eliminating the barrier of distance, enabling people to be Anywhere Now.


Leslie Versweyveld

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