Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Polycom Telemedicine Carts: Can They Actually Reduce Medical expenses and Hospital Stays?

One of the most problematic situations in life is the long-term hospital stay.  So imagine the excitement in the air, as Polycom announces its new Polycom Telemedicine Carts Technology, a system that can reduce or even eliminate long-term hospital stays.  Thanks to the cart, namely a RealPresence Practitioner Cart 8000, patients will be able to connect live with onsite caregivers using HD remote technology.  In real HD, patients will be able to speak with doctors and nurses and have “instant” remote conversations regarding health issues.  This will take place easily, even if the patient is separated from the doctor by miles and miles. 

In fact, a patient will no longer have to stay in the hospital just for medical consultations.  The new cart technology conforms to the FDAClass I Medical Device Data Systems requirements.  The system works on mobile device as well as PC connection. 

Ultimately, this project is not just about convenience but also about cost-cutting.  This “telemedicine” technology will help to reduce the cost of transporting patients to large medical facilities or sending out doctors or nurses to patients’ homes.  The cart is built off Rubbermaid Healthcare’s small and lightweight mobile cart platform.  In addition to the HD technology, the system is also resistant to spills and is easy to clean and hold. 

Naturally, this level of video conferencingdoes require major hardware, and so the unit comes with a Polycom EagleEye camera with Polycom StereoSurround technology.  This ensures clarity and easy communication—a vital component when dealing with medical care as communication is essential to recovery. 

So what kind of savings are we looking at here?  According to one source, the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, putting only a selected number of Polycom’s charts in patient rooms, it saved $21.7 million.  This form of telepsychiatry in this case, gave patients the opportunity to talk to doctors as clearly, as if they were in the same office in person. 

These carts are not stationary but can be moved to wherever a patient is situated.  Time wise, hospital stays have been reduced as much as six days, and in some cases, completely eliminated, as patients were able to go home the same day. 

These are exciting times for technology, and improvements in convenience and savings are definitely encouraging in recessionary times.

1 comment:

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