US Government and rehabilitation service providers both show interest in Electronic HouseCall System

Boynton Beach 31 January 2001CYBeR-CARE Inc. and Wichita State University's College of Health Professions have closed an alliance to test the effectiveness of initiating and monitoring physical therapy and other rehabilitation services for patients in home settings using the Electronic HouseCall (EHC) System. Additionally, the telehealth technology developer has equally received approval from the Government Services Administration to sell the EHC System and related services to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defence, and other Federal Departments and Agencies as a contract vendor.

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CyberCare's EHC system is a family of products utilising Internet network technology to route communication among chronically ill and other patients through a network of health care providers using voice, video and medical diagnostic data transfers. The tests organised in collaboration with Wichita State University will include physical, occupational as well as speech therapy applications. This project is intended to identify clinical protocols, best-practice methods applying new technology, and outcome measurements for rehabilitation services to be implemented and used across the CyberCare network.

"We believe working co-operatively with well-established institutions like Wichita State, widely known for rehabilitation research and education, will assist in our development of new telehealth services which will enhance the overall value of our network", commented Michael Lemnitzer, vice president of business development, CyberCare Technologies. "In turn, the contract with the Government Departments is an exciting opportunity to assist in monitoring and improving health care access for veterans as well as federal employees. The EHC system can be scaled to manage this size of population on a worldwide basis within our routed network", added Mr. Lemnitzer.

According to Mr. Dana Pusateri, chief operating officer and president of the rehabilitation division at CyberCare, the company has created a business segment that will concentrate on the development of business opportunities within the rehabilitation industry. "A significant number of chronically ill patients require some level of rehabilitation services which either are unavailable or not easily accessible. Through the EHC system these patients can improve their quality of life", he stated.

Telehealth studies within the rehabilitation profession will give useful insight for improving care while reducing costs. Kathy Lewis, P.T., J.D., associate professor at Wichita State University Physical Therapy Department and also president-elect of the Technology Special Interest Group within the American Physical Therapy Association, stated: "As an advocate for quality use of technology in the physical therapy profession and increased access to rehabilitation for patients, I am encouraged that the eventual publication of outcome studies will provide information that physical therapists are now requesting."

More information on the Electronic HouseCall System is available in the VMW January 2000 article CyberCare granted patent on patient-friendly tele-monitoring system.


Leslie Versweyveld

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