Party of five partners to initiate comprehensive Home Telehealth Project in Canada

Halifax 27 August 2001March Networks and We Care Health Services Inc. have launched Canada's largest home telehealth pilot together with three other partners, which are Aliant Telecom, CANARIE Inc., and the Health Telematics Unit of the University of Calgary. The goal of the March Networks and We Care Home Telehealth Pilot Project is to implement and evaluate a secure, Web-enabled home telehealth service involving 140 home care clients within We Care's Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Moncton, New Brunswick service areas. This pilot project is jointly funded by March Networks and CANARIE, a not-for-profit, national, Internet technology funding agency.

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As an integral part of this pilot, the March Networks Home Telehealth Solution will enable remote nursing visits and vital sign monitoring through the deployment of interactive video, audio and data transmission over high speed broadband IP networks. Aliant Telecom, March Networks' application service provider (ASP) partner for the pilot, will deliver both the secure application hosting and broadband network connectivity for the solution. The project will be independently evaluated by Dr. Richard Scott of the Health Telematics Unit, the University of Calgary.

"This home telehealth initiative is key to delivering the most efficient health care service for both patients and the public health care system. With this technology, we will dramatically enhance We Care's ability to monitor home care patients, making our service even more efficient, while reducing costs to the health care system and our private patients", explained John Schram, president and CEO, We Care Health Services Inc. "March Networks' home telehealth programme offers extensive design features that combine secure, easy to use technology and extensive case management methodology, which we have every confidence will be embraced by both our nurses and our clients."

"Home telehealth promises to be a fantastic new tool for home care agencies in North America and around the world by employing technology to address significant, industry-wide challenges presented by today's chronic nursing shortages, rising health care costs and an aging population", stated Terry Matthews, chairman and CEO March Networks. "The response that we have been seeing from the market place for this solution verifies that the real value of the Internet, consisting in its use for person-to-person interactivity centred on solving real business issues, will soon be realised now that broadband connectivity and transport is in place."


Leslie Versweyveld

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