Vidyo gets piece of booming telehealth market with Mass. Gen. win
When Massachusetts General Hospital began looking for a telepresence solution, it had a grocery list of "must haves" the system had to meet including the ability to work well, even if the network was suboptimal; it also needed to be portable, flexible and interoperable with other video conferencing solutions at two dozen-plus hospitals in the Bay State, Maine and New Hampshire. It contracted with Vidyo for the company's Healthcare Solution platform.
"We were looking for a telemedicine solution with very specific features and benefits," said Lee Schwamm, M.D., the director of the Partners Telestroke Center in Boston, and vice chairman of the Dept. of Neurology/Director of Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital.
MGH tested the Vidyo platform with the hospitals' firewall configurations, "as-is," to make sure the Vidyo platform would function with little or no support from IT people, and required that Vidyo be adaptable to every environment with very little "tweaking" from their IT group and that it deliver extremely natural, clear video fidelity.
"When we conduct acute care stroke exams, video clarity is mandatory so that we can observe any subtleties of patient's muscle movement and speech and detect problems," said Schwamm. "We need to clearly see the pupils in a patient's eyes."
The Vidyo telehealth solution will be used for video conferencing and sharing data to enable specialists from MGH to examine patients at remote hospitals miles away to diagnose and recommend treatments. MGH selected Vidyo for the next stage of its telestroke program, and may use it in other fields like cardiology.
The hospital to date had relied on room-based video conferencing from Polycom and Tandberg.
A recent Intel study showed 89 percent of healthcare decision makers believe telehealth will transform health care in the next 10 years.
Telehealth solutions, which deliver health-related services and information via telecommunications and computing technologies, are currently being used by two-thirds of health care professionals with an 87 percent satisfaction rate. These professionals believe that improved patient outcomes are the biggest perceived advantage to telehealth adoption, followed by additional benefits such as more complete clinician access to patient data and early identification of health issues. Of the respondents not currently utilizing telehealth, 50 percent plan on implementing it within the next year as the market for telehealth and home health monitoring is expected to grow from $3 billion in 2009 to an estimated $7.7 billion by 2012.