Physicians Telehealth Network to launch first Telemedicine Pilot Programme in the State of Ohio

Austin 19 December 2001Physicians Telehealth Network (PTN) has selected the newly released Video Network Platform (VNP), developed by Forgent Corporation, a provider of advanced video network solutions for enterprise communications, as the management software platform for its telemedicine network. In January of 2002, PTN will install nurse/patient and physician endpoint telemedicine units in several rural retirement centres in the state of Ohio.


PTN also chose Forgent to provide the Professional Services required to make the launch of this leading-edge telemedicine network successful including total programme oversight, network design, third-party software development, and integration to the VNP application, project management, systems installation, 24x7 maintenance support, and training. In addition, Forgent will install and maintain managed servers for the Network Operations Center (NOC) and all related video-conferencing products.

"Forgent, by virtue of their VNP software and breadth of professional services, is the key to pulling together our alliance partner strategy to create the PTN telemedicine solution", stated Carl White, chief executive officer of PTN. Forgent will coordinate a team of professionals from several key players including a major network provider who will deliver a secure network backbone using IP connectivity. In addition, Forgent developers will work with Sybase, who will provide the Web Portal, encryption, network authentication, and critical third-party software applications which will be integrated with VNP."

It is the first time physicians in Ohio will be able to use video-conferencing for examinations and treatment consultations via a private network linking rural retirement centres and health care providers. Because of recent legislation by the American Congress, these telemedicine visits are eligible for reimbursement in Ohio by Medicare. PTN expects to generate a Medicare reimbursement for these telemedicine visits shortly after launching the pilot programme.

"Physicians Telehealth Network selected Forgent's Video Network Platform software to essentially drive this groundbreaking video-conferencing application", explained Richard Snyder, chairman and chief executive officer of Forgent. "This is a true testament to the power, potential, and versatility of our new product. Also, because of our comprehensive services, including network design, integration, and consulting, Physicians Telehealth chose Forgent to develop the pilot for this first-of-its-kind turnkey telemedicine solution."

"Forgent was the only company that was able to design, manage, and integrate all of the ingredients which we needed to fulfil our goal of becoming a total solutions provider of state-of-the-art telemedicine services", added Mr. White. "The combination of Forgent's VNP software and their expertise in all facets of video-conferencing will enable us to offer this breakthrough application to our targeted health care providers and patient facilities."

VTEL Corporation, doing business as Forgent Corporation, is specialised in improving video management and interoperability standards. Forgent's goal is to ensure simple, dependable video communications by combining professional services with network management tools to deliver ease of use, reliability, and manageability for video communications.

Leslie Versweyveld

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