Cisco, Polycom, Logitech's LifeSize lead healthcare videoconferencing market

Vendors turning to cloud-based videoconferencing to serve rural healthcare facilities
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Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), Polycom and Logitech's (Nasdaq: LOGI) LifeSize are leading the telemedicine movement by providing videoconferencing capabilities to healthcare organizations, according to research firm TechNavio.

The healthcare videoconferencing market is forecast by the research firm to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18 percent through 2016, reaching close to $2 billion in revenue by then.

Videoconferencing vendors face a number of challenges in providing telemedicine capabilities, particularly in rural areas. These include the lack of reliable Internet connections and the need for high-bandwidth infrastructure, TechNavio explained.

One way to overcome these challenges is for vendors to use cloud services. "By using cloud-based platforms, enterprise video providers are introducing the concept of video telecommunication as a service for end users," related TechNavio in a blog post.

"Each participant is required to send the request to the server and as the server accepts the request, the streaming of the video is initiated. This provides the end users with low investment, fewer technical requirements, and less bandwidth requirement," the post explained.

In addition to telemedicine applications, the healthcare videoconferencing market will be spurred by the use of videoconferencing for medical education, the integration of social networking into patient care and improvements in high-definition video applications.

The TechNavio blog post concluded: "[I]t will be hard for the market to reach its full potential until the issue of rural availability is addressed, but still the advantages of video telecommunication in other healthcare sectors will surely be enough to keep the industry growing in the meantime."

Polycom recently announced alliances with robotics firm Anybots and patient monitoring company Vivify Health to develop new healthcare videoconferencing products. With Anybots, Polycom developed video-enabled robots that can be remotely controlled by medical personnel. With Vivify Health, Polycom developed mobile videoconferencing apps that integrate with healthcare information systems by gathering data from the patient and from medical devices and sending that data to caregivers.

"With collaborative video solutions, you can address access, prevention and wellness, and continuation of care, all of which becomes important as we try to tackle the problem of unnecessary rehospitalizations," said Deborah Jeffries, director of global healthcare marketing at Polycom.

For more:
- check out TechNavio's blog post
- see the Polycom announcement

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