University of Arizona Telemedicine Programme selects Riverstone for multi-campus metropolitan network deployment

Santa Clara 18 December 2002The Arizona Telemedicine Programme (ATP), a University of Arizona-based project, is deploying Riverstone Networks' metro routers to extend distance learning, telemedicine applications, and informatics training to campuses throughout Arizona. Functioning as a "virtual corporation", the Arizona Telemedicine Programme is creating new paradigms for health care delivery over the information superhighway. The programme is recognised as one of the premier programmes at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and has received numerous awards at the national level for its research and innovations.


The award-winning Arizona Telemedicine Programme is deploying Riverstone's RS 3000 routers in its ATM network to aggregate traffic from multiple campuses. Delivering bandwidth in increments up to 100 Mbps, the ATP network enables high-resolution radiology and MRI file sharing between campuses, distance learning across Arizona, and a variety of telemedicine applications.

"Our telemedicine programme demands a highly resilient network that can provide the bandwidth and services we need to create a reliable statewide health care delivery system", stated Mike Holcomb, associate director for network architecture at the Arizona Telemedicine Programme. "Riverstone's metro routers provide us with an excellent blend of carrier-grade features and intelligence to ensure we continue to give our students and patients the high quality experience they deserve."

Telemedicine is the use of telecommunications technology to provide health care services to patients who are geographically separated from a physician or other health care provider. Currently, the Arizona Telemedicine Programme is providing medical services via both real time and store-and-forward technologies in twenty communities. This year, 500 hours of continuing medical education and continuing education will be delivered to 34 communities using bi-directional video conferencing.

The ATP is leveraging Riverstone's ATM circuit extension technology and quality of service (QoS) capabilities to maximise its current ATM backbone. By transparently extending ATM virtual circuits to Ethernet networks, the Arizona Telemedicine Programme is preserving its investment in ATM technology and gaining the flexibility of Ethernet technology.

"The Arizona Telemedicine Programme is bringing the latest in networking technology to its research and patient care facilities", stated Dan Harding, Riverstone's vice president of business development. "By deploying Riverstone's routers across its multiple campuses, the ATP is building a state-of-the-art network that enables advanced telemedicine and distance learning applications."

Providing a variety of educational programmes for rural telemedicine sites throughout Arizona, the ATP addresses the needs of the culturally diverse communities it serves. Clinicians can interactively participate in medicine, paediatrics, psychiatry, cardiology, public health, and nursing. Earlier this year, the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) awarded the ATP its "Excellence in Distance Learning Programming" for telemedicine.

The Arizona Telemedicine Programme is run in conjunction with the University of Arizona's Health Sciences Center (AHSC), one of the country's major research institutions. The AHSC receives $85 million a year in research grants that enable state-of-the-art treatment for patients and up-to-date information for students at the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Public Health, and the University of Arizona School of Health Professions.

The Arizona Telemedicine Programme is a large, multi-disciplinary, university-based programme that provides telemedicine services, distance learning, informatics training, and telemedicine technology assessment capabilities to communities throughout Arizona. The programme has succeeded in creating partnerships among a wide variety of not-for-profit and profit health care organisations, and has created new interagency relationships within the state government.

Riverstone Networks Inc. provides solutions for metropolitan area networks, enabling carriers to convert raw bandwidth into profitable services. In more than 50 countries, carriers operating many of the world's largest metropolitan area networks depend on Riverstone to create and reliably deliver profitable services over legacy and next-generation infrastructures. Worldwide, Riverstone routers are the trusted choice of many telecommunications carriers.

Leslie Versweyveld

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