Canadian Space Agency project to deliver telehealth applications via Telesat's Anik F2 satellite

Ottawa 03 November 2003March Networks and Telesat are combining their technology and expertise to deliver video-enabled telehealth services over Canada's satellite communications networks. The $1,5 million project, which will bring highly advanced telehealth applications to commercial trials by the autumn of 2004, is being cost-shared by the Canadian Space Agency through the European Space Agency, March Networks and Telesat.


The new partnership will broaden the delivery of health care in remote communities, where there is a chronic shortage of health care professionals. By enabling remote visits using highly-advanced video applications, telehealth via satellite can significantly reduce travel time, expenses and anxiety for both health care providers and their patients.

"Delivering telehealth via satellite will benefit everyone: those who deliver health care, those who pay for it, and those who need it, especially in aboriginal and remote communities", stated Dave Lahey, Telesat's vice president of business development. "At Telesat, we are pleased to be a world leader not just in facilitating these types of applications, but also in making them feasible through the latest satellite technology."

March Networks' managed telehealth application enables remote nursing visits and vital sign monitoring through fully interactive voice, video and data transmission. The project will develop the technology to allow delivery of remote health care services over Telesat's Anik F2 satellite, scheduled for launch in the second quarter of 2004. Anik F2 features a new Ka-band spot-beam technology that will enable high-speed, direct-to-user multimedia interactive services throughout North America.

"The winning proposition of satellite-based telehealth lies in its ability to connect people living in remote communities with health care professionals anywhere in a timely and cost-effective manner", stated Peter Wilenius, March Networks' vice president, managed video services. "March Networks has a strong track record in developing technically-superior, networked video solutions that enable meaningful applications for multiple stakeholders. Telehealth is a perfect example of a broadband application that benefits people by enabling better health care delivery."

March Networks is a recognized innovator of broadband-based networked video applications designed for physical security, video-enabled telehealth and managed video services. The company is applying its integrated hardware and software components for telehealth to address current and future health care delivery challenges.

A secure Web-based application, a Video Services Gateway and a Health Monitoring Kit combine to enable applications such as vital sign and medication monitoring, off-line and exceptions reporting, remote collaboration and client teaching. Through its partners, March Networks Managed Telehealth Applications are delivered to multiple constituents over wireless and conventional network communications.

Telesat is a pioneer in satellite operations and systems management. The company made history in 1972 with the launch of the first domestic commercial communications satellite in geostationary orbit. Today, Telesat competes with other top international satellite fleets in providing telecommunications and broadcasting services throughout the Americas. Telesat is a wholly owned subsidiary of BCE Inc., Canada's largest communications company.

Leslie Versweyveld

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