PictureTel 900 Series delivers high-resolution Internet-powered video-conferencing to health care sector

Andover 12 April 2001PictureTel Corporation, an expert in integrated collaboration, has highlighted the success of the PictureTel 900 Series in the health care sector. Health care organisations around the world are using the video-conferencing tool to meet the immediate medical needs of remote patients, conduct far-reaching scientific research, and enable e-learning initiatives with doctors, nurses, and health care professionals.


PictureTel 900 Series, launched in July 2000, is the first product offering from PictureTel based on the iPower architecture, developed with Intel Corporation. The iPower family represents a new category of integrated collaboration solution, for the first time combining video-conferencing, the PC, and the Internet. The company's patent-pending People+Content technology delivers a highly natural remote communication experience. Under this approach, when users are interacting "face-to-face", the systems transmit at the highest frame rate to optimise motion video quality.

When a care provider elects to share content such as X-rays, patient records, test results, real time output from electronic medical tools, etc., the systems intelligently switch to a much higher resolution transmission that is required by health care organisations. The special high-resolution information sharing capability was not well supported with former generation video-conferencing technology.

"For some time, physicians and specialists have relied on video-conferencing to consult with one another, sharing knowledge and seeking advice and guidance on particularly difficult cases", stated Dr. Norman Gaut, chairman and chief executive officer at PictureTel. "Today, integrated collaboration is engendering a new paradigm in the patient/doctor care. Patients can communicate directly with a physician and specialist simultaneously; tests can be reviewed and care protocols considered in one call; and long distance trips to speciality care providers are reduced as situations are evaluated directly. Importantly, preventative care is provided in a hands-on learning environment."

On the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the Upper Peninsula Health Care Network (UPHCN), a network of independent health care organisations, for example, has found that a video-conferencing network has enabled the hospitals to continue to raise the bar in terms of the quality and efficiency of health care in rural geographies. Video-conferencing has helped UPHCN enhance patient care, providing practitioners and patients the ability to meet more frequently and involve specialists without the time and risk of travel for patients with critical conditions. Not limiting its resources to its own staff, the network frequently connects to specialists around the nation.

Dr. Kevin C. Chung, a nationally recognised paediatric plastic surgeon who oversees the University of Michigan Hand Center, for example, was consulted using telehealth equipment, a consultation which saved two patients a 16-hour round-trip to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

"The nature of patient care, particularly with complex cases, often calls for highly specialised knowledge resources", commented Lew Jaffe, president and CEO at PictureTel. "The iPower architecture is ideal for extending the reach of precious medical care resources, particularly the doctors, and enabling them to most efficiently participate in patient care. No better example can be found with our military men and women who serve overseas."

Mr. Jaffe continued: "At the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the hospital operates a state-of-the-art Video Teleconferencing Center for applications which range from telemedicine to distance learning to staff meetings. Utilising video-conferencing technology, the hospital provides professional mentoring, conducts patient consults, and provides crucial specialised services to patients who require direct interaction, such as physical and/or speech therapy."

PictureTel Corporation is a specialist in developing, manufacturing, and marketing a full range of visual and audio collaboration platforms. The company also owns 1414c, a communications Application Service Provider that greatly 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 and delivers a global capability to service, support, and provide complete solutions for customers needing rich media communications.

Leslie Versweyveld

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