Carelink expands national Swedish telemedicine network with First Virtual Web conferencing tools

Stockholm 11 March 2002Carelink, a Swedish national health care organisation, has approved Click to Meet and other products, developed by First Virtual Communications, a provider of integrated rich media communications Web conferencing solutions, for deployment by its member health care organisations. Additionally, Carelink has selected Euromed Networks AB, a Swedish reseller specialising in health care applications, for the provision and integration of First Virtual Communications' technologies as part of the global framework for telemedicine within Sweden.

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Carelink is a Swedish national organisation that works to support IT development and increase co-operation between member health care organisations. Through Carelink, member organisations have access to "Sjunet", a virtual private network for secure communications which supports health care initiatives. According to Mats Larsson, chief executive officer of Carelink, "Sweden is the first country in the world to have a national, broadband-based infrastructure for health care".

Carelink's current project includes the deployment of rich media communications including voice, video, and streaming media between its member organisations. Following an extended review process, Carelink has identified a recommended list of products and integrators that are approved for usage by its member organisations. Click to Meet and other First Virtual products have now been selected, meaning that members are authorised at present to purchase the recommended systems for deployment.

"Because our company is focused on health care activities, providing medical organisations with video conferencing and image management systems, we are able to provide state-of-the art communications solutions to Carelink", stated Anders Fransen, sales and support director of Euromed Networks AB. "The telemedicine market is a specific vertical market that requires open, scalable, and customisable solutions, while enabling customers to access the latest in advanced technologies. Carelink is looking for integrated, certified, reliable, scalable, and cost-effective telemedicine solutions. Our partnership with First Virtual Communications enables us to meet those requirements."

The expertise of Euromed in previous telemedicine projects and deployments was critical in the selection of the integrator and its associated technologies. In addition, the "Sjunet" network is built on Cisco network infrastructure, making integration between the existing network infrastructure and selected conferencing solutions a critical component. First Virtual Communications is one of the first voice and video communications vendors to offer an end-to-end collaborative rich media solution built to take advantage of Cisco's network products. Click to Meet's simple Web-based interface, user-friendly directory and scheduling functionalities were also key elements for selection of First Virtual's solutions.

First Virtual's Click to Meet and other products enable simple and intuitive administration of point-to-point and group conferencing and collaboration using a mix of video, voice, graphics, data, and streaming across IP, ISDN, and ATM networks. These products have been selected for their flexibility and scalability, facilitating small to large group interaction while enabling load balancing and significant bandwidth savings.

First Virtual's solutions are fully H.323 and T.120-compliant, providing seamless interoperability with standards-based endpoints and gateways for communications within and beyond the IP network. First Virtual enables organisations to leverage existing conferencing investments as they extend their communications reach with IP-based conferencing and collaboration solutions.

The complete suite of First Virtual solutions will be available for use by Carelink member organisations and consist of:

  • Click to Meet, a rich media Web conferencing solution that seamlessly integrates voice, video, data collaboration, and streaming into a simple, Web-based user interface
  • Conference Server, the market-leading multipoint control unit (MCU) for IP-based networks
  • I-Studio streaming servers, including video on demand and live video streaming servers
  • Multi-protocol gateways for IP/ISDN/ATM

Carelink was established in December 2000 by four national health care bodies: the Federation of County Councils, the Association of Local Authorities, the Private Health and Social Care Employers' Association and the National Co-operation of Swedish Pharmacies. The motive behind this initiative was the shared conviction that health care, for patients, users and customers, can be improved through a more advanced use of IT. Carelink member health care organisations, including county councils, regional and local authorities, and private care companies, all have access to the organisation's national broadband communications network and a range of related services.

Euromed Networks AB, a reseller of First Virtual Communications, is a Swedish telemedicine company with many years experience and competence within telemedicine in Sweden and Europe. People at Euromed have the experience of over 50 telemedicine installations in hospitals and local medical centres throughout Sweden, the Nordic countries, and in Great Britain as well as assisting in many telemedicine projects during the past few years. The mission of Euromed is to assist the health and medical profession to develop products and services within the growing telemedicine area, as well as to pursue an IT-related consult organisation within security and management along with system development with the highest possible quality and customer benefits.

By enabling interactive voice, video, and data collaboration over IP-based networks, First Virtual Communications provides cost-effective, integrated end-to-end solutions for large-scale deployments to enterprise desktops. It also enables best of breed video conferencing solutions to be extended through ISDN and ATM networks. The company's flagship product, Click to MeetTM, provides a complete framework for delivering a new generation of video-enabled Web collaboration applications that address the real time communications needs of companies worldwide. Click to Meet can be integrated seamlessly into popular enterprise messaging and collaboration environments such as Microsoft Exchange/Outlook and instant messaging.


Leslie Versweyveld

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