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Cisco, Apollo partner on telemedicine

Posted: 12 May 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:telemedicine  healthcare  desktop 

Apollo Hospitals Group and Cisco Services have formed an alliance to create smart connected healthcare communities. They aim to revolutionise health care through information and communication technology (ICT) and bridge health divide in rural and urban India.

The joint initiative will help drive inclusive growth and well being by accelerating access to affordable and high quality health care via Cisco's desktop based HealthPresence Extended Reach technology.

Speaking about the association, Sangita Reddy, executive director, Apollo Hospitals Group, said, "At Apollo Hospitals, we constantly endeavour to introduce new models to help in making quality health care accessible to the masses. The alliance with Cisco will revolutionise the delivery of health care in India. Cisco's desktop based HealthPresence Extended Reach technology represents significant advances in technology and telecommunication techniques, effectively delivering health care 24x7 remotely."

This alliance will be executed over three phases with:

 • The deployment of Phase I being announced where Apollo would leverage ICT to transform its operations

 • Phase II consisting of Cisco and Apollo undertaking joint thought leadership activities and developing open healthcare IT industry standards

 • Phase III will involve Apollo and Cisco leveraging these ICT solutions to transform healthcare in India, APAC, and emerging countries.

Commenting on this relationship, Wim Elfrink, chief globalisation officer and executive vice president, Cisco Services, said, "We are excited to collaborate closely with Apollo Hospitals to create and showcase various health care solutions. Collaborative technologies, powered by ubiquitous broadband access, will enable access to affordable and high-quality health care services in rural and urban communities. We believe communities, cities, countries and individual lives can be transformed by providing access to socially, economically and environmentally sustainable solutions."

Healthcare providers face many challenges in the delivery of health care services particularly to suburban and rural areas in India. During the last decade Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation, which claims to be the largest and oldest multi speciality telemedicine network has met some of these issues in an organised and cost efficient manner. The integration of Cisco's desktop based Health Presence Extended Reach technology with Apollo Hospital's "Medintegra" will now for the first time make available a user friendly, cost effective tele-medicine solution, at a significantly reduced initial investment at the remote end. As part of this initiative, Cisco and Apollo have collaborated in Raichur, Karnataka to demonstrate how health care in rural areas can be transformed.

Cisco HealthPresence Extended Reach solution will help connect patients with medical providers conveniently and efficiently, regardless of distance. Added Vishal Gupta, vice president, Advanced Services, Cisco, "Using the network as a platform for tele-medicine, we create an environment similar to what patients experience when they visit their medical provider. We have combined high definition video and audio, end-to-end tele-medicine work flow and remote diagnostics to create and affordable, innovative and scalable solution. In collaboration with Apollo, we can now create Smart + Connected Health care communities not only in urban areas, but also in villages".

With the use of this technology, doctors do not need to visit a tele-medicine room to connect with patients; they can now consult with patients on a laptop supported by an Internet connection. A detailed 'clinical examination' and review of all investigations is now possible in a seamless manner with the option of recording the entire interaction.

As part of Phase I, the Apollo Hospitals Group and the Apollo Telemedicine Foundation have started deploying hundreds of Cisco's HealthPresence Extended Reach solution across Apollo remote clinics and super-speciality hospitals thereby enabling a patient to access any doctor at any point of time across the Apollo system. K. Ganapathy, president of Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation and president elect of the Telemedicine Society of India observed that this solution would help tele-medicine in India reach that critical mass essential for a successful take off. "We are looking beyond India in deploying this technology. Doctor—anyone, anytime, anywhere will be our slogan" Ganapathy remarked.

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