InTouch Health announces launch of new product feature to transform stroke care through remote presence telestroke networks

Santa Barbara 15 July 2008InTouch Technologies Inc. (d.b.a. InTouch Health), specialized in Remote Presence health care solutions, has launched a new product feature, StrokeRESPOND, to extend the functionality of its Remote Presence robotic technology for stroke experts. The company's stroke solution is part of a focused initiative to develop telestroke networks to enhance stroke care. The company has also entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with Genentech, to facilitate Activase (Alteplase) education for its growing telestroke customer base. Activase, a recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) developed by Genentech, is approved for the management of acute ischemic stroke in adults.

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Through this agreement, the companies will collaborate and Genentech will provide Activase in-servicing and education to hospitals that have InTouch's Remote Presence telestroke capabilities. This service is intended to benefit InTouch's telestroke customers by ensuring that a facility's emergency department staff receives timely training after the installation of a Remote Presence telestroke system on the proper use of Activase.

Yulun Wang, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of InTouch Technologies, stated: "I am very pleased to announce this agreement with Genentech. Stroke is a leading cause of death and permanent disability in the United States and we hope that efforts such as this collaboration will continue to advance the standard of stroke care, particularly in geographically remote areas."

Remote Presence is a next generation telemedicine technology platform which combines the power of robotics, wireless, and the Internet to enable hospitals and physicians to bring the right care to a patient at the right time. Capabilities include two-way audio visual communication, mobility at both ends, and a software architecture which ensures reliable and robust connections from anywhere with Internet access. This enables a physician to "beam in" immediately to the patient's side to render care.

Stroke is a leading application for Remote Presence. Remote Presence (RP-7) systems have already been deployed in stroke networks around the country, with results including improved geographical reach of stroke specialists and more timely delivery of appropriate stroke care. These networks have also resulted in enhanced stroke education and awareness throughout the community, further improving stroke care and patient outcomes.

With the launch of StrokeRESPOND, stroke experts will now have timely and seamless one-stop access to the information needed to render efficient and informed care decisions for stroke patients. StrokeRESPOND is an enhancement to the Remote Presence platform and has been designed specifically to support the expert physician's acute stroke management work flow. Data elements relevant to the management of the stroke patient can be entered into a secure website as they are captured by the Emergency Department (ED) staff and accessed immediately by the consulting stroke expert directly through the RP-7 system. StrokeRESPOND enhances process flexibility and rapid clinical decision-making. StrokeRESPOND combined with the RP-7 provides the specialist with relevant information to deliver efficient, state-of-the-art stroke care.

Yulun Wang stated: "We are pleased to announce a total stroke solution that will help deliver expert stroke care to the population regardless of time and geographical space barriers. StrokeRESPOND and Remote Presence have the potential to truly impact and revolutionize the delivery of stroke care."

The launch of StrokeRESPOND is part of a focused effort by InTouch Health in the field of telestroke. In addition to the development of this new feature tailored expressly for the stroke community, InTouch Health is also partnering with leaders in the health care industry to deliver a complete, powerful telestroke solution. The first of those corporate partnerships to be announced is a collaboration with Neurostar Solutions to bring a clinical image management application to specialists who will now be able to have convenient access to the patient imaging information needed for stroke diagnosis and treatment.

Stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide and the third leading cause of death in the United States. "Time is brain" and available stroke treatments are usually only effective within a certain time window from onset of symptoms. Thus the challenge is to get the right expertise and treatment to the patient at the right time to enable eligible patients to receive a stroke therapy. StrokeRESPOND in combination with Remote Presence will boost the power of stroke networks to deliver timely stroke care to more patients and hence enable recommendations set forth by the American Stroke Association to be met.

InTouch Technologies Inc. is a privately held company based in Santa Barbara, California. The company has pioneered Remote Presence technology for health care providers. Through its RP-7 Remote Presence Robotic System, a proprietary mobile robotic and communications platform, doctors are able to consult with hospital-based patients and staff more easily and frequently. The InTouch Health solution leverages the time and expertise of health care professionals across multiple care facilities, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of care delivery.

The company now has over 200 RP-7 systems deployed in acute care settings that are utilized for a range of clinical applications including stroke and multi-disciplinary outreach, remote critical care coverage, on-call services and rounding. More company news is available in the VMW August 2003 article InTouch Health's Remote Presence Robot for health care begins clinical testing in skilled nursing setting.


Leslie Versweyveld

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