Doctors volunteering time through Medical Missions for Children impact lives of 26.000 children worldwide using Polycom video for remote diagnostics and telemedicine

Pleasanton 05 November 2007Medical Missions for Children (MMC), a non-profit organisation dedicated to serving the medical needs of catastrophically ill children in underserved areas of the United States and the world, and Polycom Inc., a provider of unified collaborative solutions, have celebrated the eight year anniversary of their successful partnership, which enables volunteer physician specialists in the United States and Europe to help sick children around the world using donated Polycom video collaboration solutions. To support this effort, Polycom has donated products and funds, including a recent installment of Polycom high definition (HD) HDX video solutions, allowing MMC to implement the Telemedicine Outreach Programme of its Global Telemedicine and Teaching Network in more than 100 countries.

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By working with Polycom to establish its telemedicine network, which incorporates a variety of Polycom video, and bridging solutions, MMC has been able to install video rooms in 27 top United States and European mentoring hospitals including Mount Sinai, St. Jude's, and Johns Hopkins, which are used by more than 650 physicians. To date, the network has connected physicians with more than 26.000 children throughout the developing world.

"The partnership and support we receive from Polycom is one of the most important and effective relationships we have had with any organisation", stated Frank Brady, founder of Medical Missions for Children. "Polycom realized the significance and importance of quality in telemedicine technology and has been instrumental in helping us achieve our mission."

In its most recent Polycom collaboration, MMC created the first high-speed, HD video collaboration network between two hospitals, building a network of Polycom HDX 9004 video endpoints to connect St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis with St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Paterson, New Jersey, to develop and share innovative paediatric cancer research. Through this network, St. Jude's has agreed to share its cancer treatment protocols with St. Joseph's and allow its doctors to diagnose and treat cancer patients remotely using the industry's best HD video collaboration solutions from Polycom. The quality and clarity of communication enables physicians to remotely diagnose and treat patients accurately as if children and doctors, regardless of location, were in the same room.

Incorporating HD video collaboration into its Telemedicine Network allows MMC to introduce a new level of diagnostic clarity to its patients and physicians. More significantly, Polycom HDX video collaboration endpoints are the only solutions that allow simultaneous transfer of HD multimedia content, enabling high resolution documents such as CAT scans and X-rays to be shared between sites without loss of video quality or detail; further expanding the available resources being used to effectively diagnose children around the world.

"The Medical Missions for Children team and its network of physician volunteers are an amazing example of how people can come together and accomplish truly wonderful, life-altering results", stated Bob Hagerty, chairman and CEO of Polycom. "By using video collaboration technology Medical Missions is removing distance as a barrier for providing care, and literally saving lives and dramatically improving the quality of life for thousands of children in areas where there is no alternative. Polycom is proud of our ongoing relationship with Medical Missions for Children and honored assist in their efforts."

In addition to the Telemedicine Outreach Programme, Medical Missions has also established the Global Video Library of Medicine, a medical library of 25.000 hours of video content for use by doctors and the largest video library of medical information, housed at Montclair University in New Jersey. With the base of medical knowledge doubling, the average doctor will soon need to know twice the 2 million facts he or she knows today. In addition, MMC's Medical Broadcasting Channel and the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) air medical programmes for doctors and consumers alike containing original content broadcast from Medical Missions that is hosted by Tommy Thompson, former Secretary of Health and Human Services and Dr. Elias Zerhouni, the Director of the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C.

The MMC and Polycom relationship began in 2001 when MMC entered a contest run by Polycom. Polycom was seeking compelling new applications for its videoconferencing equipment and asked organisations to submit a proposal for how they would use the technology if they had it. MMC entered the contest by presenting their first video consultation with Hospital del Nino in Panama City, regarding an eight-year-old Panamanian boy with a cranial deformity. As the winner of the contest, MMC was awarded a complete state-of-the-art - at the time - video conferencing system, including display, multi-media cart, and Polycom ViewStation FX video conferencing endpoint. Based on that first meeting, MMC and Polycom formed a strategic partnership and have since worked together to expand MMC's mission for children.

Medical Missions for Children (MMC) is dedicated to serving the medical needs of catastrophically ill children in underserved United States and international communities. Through the use of its Global Telemedicine & Teaching Network (GTTN), a satellite and Internet-based communications platform, MMC facilitates the real-time treatment of remote, critically ill children. The GTTN also broadcasts an extensive programme of continuing medical education and supports dialogue exchange among a global network of medical specialists, thus transferring medical knowledge from those who have it to those who need it.

Medical Missions for Children's global network encompasses paediatric health care facilities in more than 100 medically underserved countries, and the volunteer services of 23 tier-one United States-based and four international medical institutions. Since the organisation was founded, more than 26.000 children have been helped. Medical Missions for Children continues to work toward its goal of touching the lives of over one million children each year. Medical Missions for Children has been designated as a 4-star charity by Charity Navigator for the past three years.

Medical Missions for Children's Telemedicine Outreach Programme (TOP) provides the medical and technical expertise needed to bring specialized medical care to the world's sickest children - without regard to geographic and cultural boundaries. Using videoconferencing equipment donated by Polycom, doctors on each side of a virtual medical consultation can consolidate their understanding of a set of symptoms to determine and prescribe an appropriate course of treatment or action.

Polycom Inc. is a worldwide expert in unified collaborative communications (UCC) that maximize the efficiency and productivity of people and organisations by integrating the broadest array of high definition video, wired and wireless voice, and content solutions to deliver the ultimate collaborative experience. Polycom's high quality, standards-based conferencing and collaboration solutions are easy to deploy and manage, as well as intuitive to use.

Supported by an open architecture, they integrate seamlessly with leading telephony, workplace wireless telephony, and presence-based networks. With its market-driving technologies, best-in-class products, alliance partnerships, and world-class service, Polycom is the smart choice for organizations seeking proven solutions and a competitive advantage from on-demand communications and collaboration. More company news is available in the VMW July 2007 article Telemedicine provider GlobalMedia Group joins the Polycom ARENA programme.


Leslie Versweyveld

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