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A Medical Conferencing Briefing for NHS and private clinicians, radiologists and managers has highlighted the impact that High Definition technology is making and its future role in providing the highest levels of patient care, medical training and essential cost savings. The recent briefing, held in Slough, was organised by medical conferencing specialist MultiSense Communications and Polycom, and allowed attendees to meet other telemedicine users, exchange ideas and hear advice from industry experts.

One attendee, Mary Lai, AV specialist at Kent and Medway Health Informatics Service, comments: “This briefing has reinforced the message that specialist doctors are few and far between so we welcome any technological advances which help to extend their specialist knowledge further and therefore save patients’ lives. Telemedicine is already allowing our team in Kent to offer a better service and use the clinicians’ prognosis to its full potential.”

One of the speakers was Delyth Lewis, Telemedicine Manager at South West Wales Cancer Network. NHS Wales is in fact Europe’s biggest video network and is supplied by MultiSense Communications. Delyth spoke about the Telemedicine Neurology Clinics in rural Wales. Previously, the neurology clinics were held every three months but this service was too infrequent to meet local demand. The Consultant Neurologist had to travel 150 miles - a 4 hour return car journey - to run the clinic, and there was a real risk that specialist services to outreach sites would be withdrawn.

Delyth Lewis explains: “We realised that an innovative approach was required to deliver healthcare in rural areas of West Wales. We undertook a study to assess the feasibility of neurology telemedicine using patient video consultations. We audited all 58 patients on the waiting list and offered them a telemedicine consultation. 89% accepted and we went ahead and held 6 clinics between February 2008 and January 2009. The levels of patient satisfaction were astounding, with 100% satisfaction rates and willingness to use telemedicine for their consultation again. We’ve increased the frequency of clinics to 6 per week, reducing travel time and costs; we’ve improved educational opportunities and now have much better networking between clinicians at both the tertiary and local hospitals.”

Another presenter, Ron Emerson, Global Director of Healthcare at Polycom, explained: “Having travelled the world, meeting healthcare providers and partners, it’s clear that the multi-purpose use of telemedicine gives the biggest returns. The future of healthcare is linked to three key factors: integration, mobility and access.”

The US and Canada have made huge investments in telemedicine. One interesting example Emerson gave was the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTBM) – now the biggest user of telemedicine. The challenge they faced was to provide clinical services to over 168,000 inmates across Texas. The solution was to use Polycom equipment to offer over 5,000 telemedicine consultants (patient doctor discussions) per month to inmates and to private organisations across Texas. In this way, the UTMB has saved hundreds of millions of dollars because of the security issues and costs associated with transporting inmates for treatment.”

Emerson adds: “I believe that MultiSense Communications is one of, if not the, best healthcare partner. It’s fantastic to be partnered with them and to be offering true levels of integration that are benefiting patients and medical staff alike.”

MultiSense Communications has been providing specialist Medical Conferencing solutions based on Polycom equipment to all sectors of the NHS in England and Wales for over fourteen years. Their presenter, Andrew Graley, Director of Healthcare Solutions, comments: “Telemedicine is making a major impact on the NHS in terms of cost savings, improving efficiency and spreading expertise across hospitals. There are some exciting new applications of the technology now in use across the UK. For example, the portable mobile patient-side medical carts which can now be used within a metre of the patient’s bedside allowing for very effective remote consultations, second opinions and therefore the most effective care.”

“Today’s demonstrations of the equipment in use across the NHS, and advice from global specialists, have given the attendees confidence that medical conferencing is a seamless, vital tool for everyday healthcare use.”

Ends

For press enquiries contact the MultiSense Communications Press office:

Katie King, Mobile: 07525 727288, Email: katie@2thefore.biz

Notes to editors:

MultiSense Communications has over thirteen years experience in all aspects of video-conferencing and is Polycom’s focused Specialist Healthcare Partner. MultiSense Communications is involved in many advanced and specialised healthcare applications which include cancer Multi Disciplinary Team meetings (MDTs), Telemedicine, A&E and MIU. In this 60th year of the NHS, such projects are helping clinicians provide enhanced patient care, reduce the need for travel and achieve the eighteen week target from GP referral. MultiSense Communications provide consultancy, product, training and operational support to clinicians throughout the UK. For additional information please call 01494 461949 or visit our website www.multisense.co.uk

About Polycom
Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM) is the global leader in telepresence, video, and voice solutions and a visionary in communications that empower people to connect and collaborate everywhere. Please visit www.polycom.com for more information.



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