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West Palm Beach Integrates Digital Technology, With Room for Telepresence

The city of West Palm Beach, Florida, is on to something.

The popular tourist destination, and home to 100,000 residents, has embarked upon its own digital revolution of sorts. In an effort to develop business, bring digital communication to the underserved, and make its citizens feel more connected to the local government, West Palm Beach has pulled out nearly all the technological stops.

To bridge the digital divide between wealthy and impoverished populations, the city has installed free Wi-Fi in many public places, including its famous waterfront and the public library. Two Youth Empowerment Centers now include audio/visual recording labs to encourage teens’ multimedia skills and interests. Additionally, in terms of constituent outreach, a planned “Tele-Town Hall” will enable residents to connect with city officials via phone, local television, and social media.

So what more could West Palm Beach do to optimize its technological prowess? Add more telepresence… Read More »

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Scotland and California Governments Embrace Healthcare Technologies

Government support for healthcare (telehealth or telemedicine) technologies continues to gain momentum across the globe. The latest examples in Scotland and California emphasize improved medical care and reduced costs from adoption of technologies such as telepresence, home monitoring and Internet services.

A recent Guardian article highlights a report from the Scottish auditor which urges NHS to consider telehealth when developing or redesigning services. The report sets out a series of questions for NHS boards to ask around improved access, increased capacity, cost avoidance and health benefits. They include: Are any patients unable to access the current service because of geography? Do clinical staff have to do more than a four hour round trip to deliver the current service? Could using telehealth potentially reduce hospital admissions? Hopefully NHS takes this recommendation seriously and starts to make some serious headway on the telehealth front. Read More »

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Healthcare Technology in the 21st Century

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

Is the cloud the cure for what ails you? It could be, if service providers and telehealth device manufacturers have anything to say about it.

Home healthcare monitoring technologies have become big news in the last few years, and are poised to become even bigger. According to a recent Berg Insight report, remote health monitoring of chronic diseases generated €7.6 billion ($10.01 billion USD) globally in 2010, and is growing at 9 percent each year. MarketResearch.com projects the market for telehealth monitoring equipment alone to reach $3.1 billion by 2017.

Read More »

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Leveraging technology to support an Accountable Care Organization initiative

It is of particular interest to me to see how technology can be leveraged to help care providers meet legislation requirements and improve care delivery and outcomes at the same time!   One of our most recent examples of how this alignment occurred was through collaboration with Saint Thomas Health as part of the MissionPoint Health Partners pilot. We have been working on this project since 2010 to bring our Cisco HealthPresence Solution to underserved communities in Tennessee.

Cisco HealthPresence is one of the solutions designed to facilitate better and more regular care.

The objective is to help extend the reach of healthcare delivery, simplify healthcare communications, and connect patients with medical providers and specialists to enable examinations in a convenient and efficient manner.

Read More »

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Borderless Healthcare at Cisco Live: The Doctor Will See You Now (Virtually)

At Cisco Live today, we turned our attention away from the slot machines and Elvis impersonators, and sat in on the Healthcare Video Architectures session where we learned that 30% of the brain is visual and 60-90% of communication is non-verbal.

While human architecture hasn’t changed over thousands of years, computer architectures certainly have transformed in just a few years (the equivalent of thousands of years in technology time).

When it comes to healthcare–more so than in a lot of other industries–patients need to see doctors, and doctors need to see patients. And thanks to advances in technology, like Cisco HealthPresence, increases in networking speeds, and overall architectural improvements, doctors’ offices can be outfitted with all sorts of telemedicine apparatuses, allowing patients to be seen by the doctor without leaving home.

When outfitting a customer with a solution, there are four major areas for partners to think about: Quality, ease of use, bandwidth, and cost. While cost is usually the top consideration for a customer, in the session we learned that it shouldn’t drive the solution (that’s because a customer could end up buying something that doesn’t meet their clinical needs).

What’s driving the need for video in healthcare? Read More »

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