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Strong Networks and Training Help Telehealth Thrive in Rural Areas

Chronic disease sufferers and others with medical needs who live far from urban doctors, increasingly turn to telehealthto access quality, convenient care.

These patients have set a trend that stands to gain momentum, according to a recent report by the United Health Center for Health Reform & Modernization. As noted in Healthcare IT News, the report pointed to telemedicine as a prime solution to serving rural patients in need.

To support wide rural dispersion of telehealth resources, the report recommended that rural regions expand broadband connectivity, Healthcare IT News said. The recommendation underlies the need for a strong network on which to run telehealth programs. To maximize their benefits, telehealth tools need to operate on all kinds of electronics, including mobile devices—the ability to talk to a doctor from any place at any time is one of the main advantages of telemedicine. As I’ve mentioned before, mobile collaboration that supports applications like video and telepresencedemands a solid network.

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Cisco HealthPresence Version 2.1 Debuts at ATA 2012

The latest version of Cisco HealthPresence solution , was debuted in the Cisco Booth at the American Telemedicine Association’s annual meeting held in San Jose, April 29- May 1, 2012.

Cisco HealthPresence leverages the network as the platform to connect people, resources, and information to deliver enhanced care-at-a-distance. The solution includes all the elements of a typical telemedicine encounter through a common user interface, while removing the technical complexity for healthcare providers and medical staff.

The latest version reflects collaboration between Cisco and Emerge.MD, a Phoenix, Arizona based-provider of telehealth SaaS (software-as-a-service) solutions including workflow software.

Additional features in this release include:
• Compatibility with a broad portfolio of Cisco video platforms including Cisco Jabber Video soft client for desktops
• A scalable architecture that permits easy localization and integration with new third-party medical devices
• Enhanced workflows and support for physicians to collaborate and expand their network with specialists both inter- and intra- their healthcare network

“Cisco provides the platform for integrating partner solutions, and that enables a lot of new capabilities,’ said Rajesh Vargheese, CTO, Cisco Healthcare Solutions at the Cisco booth on the ATA exhibition floor.

Added Vincent Balsamo, Emerge.MD’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing: “It’s all about workflow, adoption, and utilization. The combined solution enables us to use the best of each other’s products and technologies to deliver seamless care”. To watch more of their discussions click here .

Cisco HealthPresence 2.1 is one among several collaborations between Cisco and Emerge.MD. The two have also worked on Webex integrations for health care providers. The Cisco Healthcare Solutions team is excited about this new partnership and what it brings to our healthcare partners and customers.

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Telehealth Gains Support from Down Under

Earlier this year the Australian federal government announced it would provide up to $20.6 million, to fund telehealth programs from Australian health organizations, over the next two years in what will be referred to as the National Broadband Network (NBN) Enabled Telehealth Pilots Program.

The overall goal of the program is to enable better access to high quality healthcare services, including easier access to doctors and specialists, reduced travel expenses and less crowding. It will initially focus on aged care, palliative care and cancer care, providing patients health services from the comfort of their own homes.

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Ensuring Proper Healthcare for the Next Generation

Two out of three deaths among children under age five could be prevented with effective primary healthcare globally. It is a generally recognized fact that regular medical care is essential for early diagnosis and treatment of illness and chronic diseases. And poor health causes developmental delays, affecting learning ability and a child’s ability to reach full intellectual potential. Sick children exact a toll on families, resulting in lost income and an overall compromised quality of life.

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Cisco at ATA 2012: Telemedicine at the Center of Healthcare Transformation

Galloping technological change, encouraging economics, new partnerships, and rising consumer acceptance together poise telemedicine for widespread global adoption, according to Cisco and other experts at the 17th American Telemedicine Association meeting this week in San Jose.
“These next couple of years, I think, are critical,” said Dr. Danny Sands, Cisco Director of Medical Informatics. “I think this is the time. This is our time.” Read More »

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