HIMSS10 – Polycom

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Dr. Deborah Jeffries, Director of Healthcare Markets for Polycom speaks with Michael Tranchina at HIMSS10. Dr. Jeffries discusses how Polycom’s products connect doctors with patients using collaborative voice and video. Telemedicine is topic that Dr. Jeffries and Michael talk about in detail, as Polycom’s products are introducing new and innovative ways for advanced healthcare communications/healthcare delivery.

Category: HIMSS10, Tradeshows
Date: March 26, 2010
Views:4,472 views

Michael Tranchina: Hi, this is Mike Tranchina with EHRtv and I'm here with Dr. Deb Jefferies, Director of Health Care Markets for Polycom. Hi, Doctor.

Dr. Deborah Jefferies: Hi there, nice to meet you.

Michael Tranchina: Tell me about the products you're displaying here at HIMSS.

Dr. Deborah Jefferies: Well, you know, we have a number of products here today especially because of health care having the challenges that we have. You have to be able to find a physician that can take care of a patient at a distance. We have the baby boomers moving into their 60s so they're dealing with chronic disease - COPD, asthma, diabetes - so it's really important to be able to connect the patient with the doctor even if there's a distance separating them. So the way we do that, for example, is we have something like the Polycom Practitioner card that's placed where the patient is so the patient can be presented to a doctor at a distance. You're going to see, if you look around the booth today, that not only do we have something like CMA Desktop but also the HDX 4000. What that means is that a physician can be anywhere, at their home, at their office and they can bring that special information that they have to help their patient over live video using Polycom's products. What we have in the booth today is a way to connect doctors with patients using collaborative voice and video.

Michael Tranchina: Would that be accurately described as telemedicine?

Dr. Deborah Jefferies: Absolutely. Telemedicine has a rather broad definition. You can think about maybe sharing things like CT images, MRIs, you can do store and forward for sending dermatological images but primarily as a physician, you want to be able to see the patient, have them move, zoom in on their face if you’re a psychiatrist to see if they're tearing up or you may want to take the camera. With our products, you're actually able to control the far end camera so that you can zoom in on their hands to see if there's any lacerations or come back up to their face. So even though you're at a distance, you're able to provide that type of really accurate information about what's happening with that patient.

Michael Tranchina: Now what would be the ideal client or practice that would incorporate your technology?

Dr. Deborah Jefferies: There's a number of them but one of them that really springs to mind is Tele-Stroke. Now you make think about an uncle, an aunt, a grandfather that in your family has experienced a stroke. And you know if they don't get the right care quickly enough, they're going to be dealing with that for the rest of their lives in terms of rehab, perhaps loss of the use of a limb. So if you use Tele-stroke where the neurologist is at home with a CMA Desktop Polycom collaborative video product and they've reached out to a patient at a rural hospital that might be using the practitioner card, they can look at that patient live and run them through the NIH stroke scale to see if they think they're having a stroke and importantly, be able to bring up on that laptop that the Polycom product runs on, a look at the CT image so they can determine if that stroke is caused by a clot or a hemorrhage. If it's caused by a clot, you can get a drug called tissue plasminogen activator and that drug is going to break up that clot and have that patient have a much better outcome and perhaps avoid all of the (inaudible) that can happen in a stroke situation. What it's important and why Tele-Stroke is important is you need to get that drug within the first three to four hours or you're not able to administer it. So this is an unbelievably important application for stroke victims and telehealth with Polycom's products is a way to help address this. You will notice for example there are organizations like Mass General Hospital, UPMC, they're using Polycom products and they have Tele-Stroke programs that are helping to deliver this level of care. One of the exciting things that happened last year is the American Heart Association came out and mentioned that if you have a neurologist at a distance in a TeleStroke situation, they're able to deliver the level of care that if they're at the bedside. This introduces a whole new answer to those that might be having a stroke. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, so it's a very serious issue, very important.

Michael Tranchina: A hospital for example, they're not going to be able to employ every kind of specialist with every kind of background experience.

Dr. Deborah Jefferies: That's right.

Michael Tranchina: This allows a small rural hospital, as you said, to have access to that expertise remotely and be able to take care of that patient that they may not be able to take care of otherwise.

Dr. Deborah Jefferies: Absolutely. It saves the cost of transporting that patient and it saves the time. In many medical situations there's a time factor to get that patient seen by an expert immediately. This could apply whether you're doing tele-cardiology; another important application is tele-psychiatry. You know, we have a tremendous burden right now with the way our economy is, with the soldiers we have returning from Iraq, tremendous demand on the mental health capabilities that we have. If you use something like Polycom's Collaborative Voice and Video products you can deliver that at a distance. So you don't have the psychiatrist having to get in a car and drive from this community health center to that community health center and waste that time on the road when they could actually be hooking up with their patients. Another important aspect is you can imagine it's a challenge for doctors and nurses to be able to stay on top of all the relevant information of how do you deliver the best care. Whether you're treating an AIDS patient or hepatitis C patient, by having collaborative video products, you're able to attend your CME events without having to spend for the hotel and the travel and time away from your desk and really stay on top of what's important in how you treat your patients.

Michael Tranchina: It seems like this is just the beginning of this kind of move with the remote tele-medicine. How do you see the future moving with technology in this area?

Dr. Deborah Jefferies: It's a really exciting and unusual time. On the one hand, we have all of these challenges, you know, how do we deal with this population of aging people that are going to be suffering from these chronic diseases. At the same time though we have things like a year ago with the stimulus package, there was $7.2 billion dollars allocated to the roll-out of broadband across the United States. What this means is you're going to have this super highway out to the most rural and remote areas that will facilitate high definition, excellent images, great sound so that you're able to deliver that care more readily across a bigger base. We also saw last year that there was money allocated to the community health centers so as you can imagine, it's much easier to go in and see someone at your community health center than it is to have to drive to the center of excellence, worry about parking and try to get in to see your physician. This time in history when we're actually seeing the money rolled out to do this broadband in addition to money that's allocated to the community health centers and with the collaborated video and voice products that Polycom has, we really have a unique time in history when we can start really bringing the best possible health care out to those that need it no matter where they're located.

Michael Tranchina: Very exciting. Doctor, really appreciate your time.

Dr. Deborah Jefferies: Thank you, it's been a pleasure.

Michael Tranchina: Thank you. This is Mike Tranchina with EHRtv.

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