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Cisco LifeConnections Health Center in ATA Spotlight

Sharon Gibson, Cisco’s Director of Business Transformation and Healthcare, told how Cisco developed its employee health center, LifeConnections, at a Monday morning ATA panel on “Retail and Employer-Based Healthcare Using Telemedicine.”

Although telemedicine became an aspect of LifeConnections in September 2010, two years after the first LifeConnections center opened in San Jose, it’s become a key part of the proposition. It helps the 80 domestic Cisco campuses feel they’re getting benefits comparable to those delivered at headquarters. Overseas – particularly at the Cisco Bangalore campus, site of our second LifeConnections center, where roads and traffic pose a 24/7 challenge – telemedicine simply enables better patient access to health care.

Throughout the Cisco community, engaging employees is the prime goal for LifeConnections. The initial intent was to use health care to enhance employee productivity among a young workforce not always focused on the subject. Most health care discussions in the US revolve around cost-cutting and efficiency, which often means less access for patients, Cisco took the opposite view with LifeConnections – that more access, and more care opportunities, would lead to positive cost results going forward. 

It’s worked – and telemedicine is a key part of the equation. Insights Gibson shared at ATA:

  • Screenings, events and provider enthusiasm are key to driving adoption over time.
  • Different approaches suit different geographies. In Bangalore Cisco will soon have five satellite offices using telemedicine, all open 24 hours a day, six days a week.
  • There’s opportunity to deliver specialty care using telemedicine technology. Working with Stanford University, LifeConnections has just launched our first teledermatology clinic.

More larger organizations are getting into corporate health care with on-site clinics – you need about 1,000 employees to make it a good investment – but Cisco is proud to be blazing trails and and winning high employee satisfaction in the process.

There’s evidence that others see lessons in LifeConnections.  A co-panelist of Gibson’s pointed out that US government employees who fall ill on duty overseas are often flown home or to regional health centers at great taxpayer expense and productivity loss. A telemedicine solution could mitigate much of that. “What you’re doing at Cisco, Sharon,” he said, “needs to be shared with the State Department and the Commerce Department.”

It’s good to hear Cisco’s work is influencing others. Cisco, too, feels we have plenty to share about telemedicine.

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Cisco Marks Strides in Telemedicine Technology, Market Acceptance at ATA 2012

April 30, 2012 at 11:25 am PST

Cisco Systems is presenting innovative new technology and an upbeat assessment of the 2012 telemedicine marketplace at the American Telemedicine Association annual meeting that opened Sunday at the San Jose Convention Center.
Cisco is spotlighting the latest Care-at-a-Distance solutions including the Cisco VX Clinical Assistant, a new mobile telemedicine device built expressly for medical environments and classified as a Class 1 medical device. Making its public debut at ATA is the Cisco TelePresence VX Tactical solution, a mobile video collaboration system designed in a ruggedized briefcase for field use. General availability for the solution is planned for June 2012.

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Cisco Lauded for Telehealth Vision, “Magical Interaction” as ATA 2012 Opens

April 30, 2012 at 9:32 am PST

Cisco Systems’ newest Telehealth solutions drew strong interest Sunday night as thousands of health care professionals converged for the start of the American Telemedicine Association 2012 meeting in San Jose.
Conventiongoers praised Cisco’s ability to devise and deliver end-to-end solutions that meet customers’ demand for simplicity – in both implementation and operation.
“Cisco provides incredible value to telehealth,” enthused Dr. Shez Partovi, chief medical information officer at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, during a visit to Cisco’s Booth 1434 on the exhibition floor.
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Telehealth Set To Become Mainstay of British Health Care System

April 9, 2012 at 4:35 pm PST

Great Britain kicked off the New Year with the initial rollout of an exciting new initiative: making telehealth technologies accessible to patients across the nation.

According to Netdoctor, the telehealth program, which will take five years to completely enact, follows successful trials in small regions of England. Patients with long-term health issues who participated in the pilot had nearly half the death rate of people who did not have access to telehealth devices. Emergency room admissions decreased considerably as well.

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HIMSS 2012 – Spotlight on Accountable Care

One major topic at this year’s HIMSS 2012 Conference, was accountable care programs. As January 1, 2012 marked the initial period for healthcare organizations to start the application process to become eligible for Accountable Care Organization status there was much debate about whether or not ACOs could improve healthcare while reducing costs.

The coordinated care provided by an Accountable Care Organization can help ensure that patients, especially the chronically ill, get the right care at the right time, with the goal of avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors.

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