For the first time, any medical professional will have access to the world-class treatment standards of the Partners HealthCare-affiliated specialists through streaming audio, video and presentations. Even the local physician in a remote village anywhere in the world is immediately able to view the latest medical research and procedures. In addition, through the Partners HealthCare Telemedicine Division, medical professionals can build on this knowledge-sharing opportunity by exchanging diagnostic information and obtaining specific advice and second opinions from the expert members of Partners HealthCare.
Partners HealthCare is a not-for-profit organisation established in 1994, to offer patients a continuum of co-ordinated, high-quality care. In addition to the two founding academic medical centres, both recognised for their world-renowned patient care, teaching and research, the system equally includes primary care and speciality physicians, community hospitals, community health centres, speciality facilities, and other health-related entities. Its Telemedicine Division is responsible for providing teleconferencing, multi-media, and remote consultation services to operating units within Partners HealthCare System.
Health-e-Rounds is the first of Partners HealthCare Telemedicine's on-line services for the Speciality Care Development unit. Integrated Information Systems' (IIS) Health Care Solutions team collaborated with the Telemedicine Division to design, build, integrate and deploy the Health-e-Rounds solution. IIS Application Outsourcing Services hosts and manages the application, which is built on the Microsoft platform and leverages EMC storage in IIS' state-of-the-art data centre in Tempe.
"The mission of telemedicine is to improve care by extending the reach of the specialist to the point of need. Creating tools, like Health-e-Rounds, which enable global knowledge sharing of the extraordinary expertise of Partners HealthCare-affiliated specialists with medical professionals around the world is a natural extension of this mission", commented Joseph Kvedar, M.D., director of Partners HealthCare Telemedicine Division. Since the Health-e-Rounds deployment in March 2001, over 500 professionals from twenty countries have viewed these Internet-enabled presentations. Partners HealthCare estimates Health-e-Rounds will be utilised by over 5000 medical professionals in 2002.