Neurologists working remotely use award-winning Polycom video software on tablets (to pan, tilt and zoom in), to assess and rapidly treat stroke patients, reducing chance of brain damage and ultimately saving many more lives
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Jul 16, 2012 : Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in open standards-based unified communications, today announced that Orlando Health is responding much more quickly to stroke alerts by using Polycom® RealPresence® Mobile and other Polycom video collaboration solutions. Time is of the essence when a patient has suffered a stroke, and treatment must be administered within a narrow window of time to minimize the likelihood of brain damage. Polycom video collaboration allows neurologists working offsite, whether in another hospital or at home, to conduct thorough assessments of stroke victims and initiate treatment faster. Polycom RealPresence Mobile just made it even easier with its new remote, far-end camera control feature that equips neurologists with a way to examine patients in closer detail by controlling what they can see on the patient directly from their tablet or device, such as the pupils of the patient’s eyes. (Watch the related video; see related RealPresence Mobile 1.3 press release; and see announcement on significant enhancements to the Polycom® RealPresence® Platform for enterprises.)
Treating Stroke Patients Sooner Improves Outcome
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stroke is the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States. Someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds. Many stroke victims suffer permanent disabilities and are unable to resume their former lifestyles or employment. Orlando Health, which is comprised of nine hospitals, is a leading provider of innovative stroke treatments such as the Genentech Tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA) protocol. This treatment is most effective when delivered immediately after the onset of a stroke. It is typically not administered more than 3-4 hours after a stroke, and is given only to patients who suffer certain types of strokes. Polycom RealPresence Mobile enables neurologists to use tablets to connect instantly with patients face to face – securely and in high definition – regardless of doctor or patient location.
“Stroke treatment is intense and complicated,” said Carlos Carrasco, corporate director of business development and innovation at Orlando Health. “Timeliness is critical, and many factors must be taken into consideration before a treatment such as the tPA protocol can be administered. Treatment decisions must be made fast and those decisions can have enormous implications for patient outcomes. Use of Polycom video collaboration has helped physicians access video conferencing to make clinical assessments more rapidly, in turn helping to accelerate ‘door to needle’ treatment timelines. That precious time can change a person’s life forever.”
Participating hospitals use patient-side carts equipped with Polycom® HDX® 8000 systems. These wireless systems include high-definition cameras that act as the remote doctor’s eyes and ears. Polycom’s RealPresence Mobile software for tablets allows the neurologist to control the camera, zooming and panning to quickly assess a patient’s condition and symptoms, and determine the best course of treatment. Many stroke specialists prefer tablet-based software because mobile devices start nearly instantly, saving precious minutes that can tick away while waiting for a PC or laptop to boot up.“The remote, far-end camera control feature of my tablet software allows me to control the camera on the medical cart to closely examine a patient’s face or extremities,” said Dr. Bennett Rosenthal, a neurologist at Orlando Health. “The camera manipulation can be done in seconds with simple gestures, without interrupting my conversation with the patient or the staff in the emergency room. I don’t have to waste valuable time trying to direct a technician on when and how to move the camera. In the past, I may have driven 20 or 30 minutes in the middle of the night to treat a stroke patient. Now it happens almost instantly and the likelihood of a positive outcome for my patients is much higher.”
Orlando Health to Expand Telemedicine to Trauma and Other Services
Following the success of its tele-stroke program, Orlando Health broadened its telemedicine initiative to its trauma services. Polycom’s award winning RealPresence Mobile app, powered by the Polycom® RealPresence® Platform – the most comprehensive software infrastructure for universal video collaboration – will enable healthcare professionals at Orlando Health’s Level One Trauma center to collaborate with health care providers at other non-trauma center emergency departments to assist patients as quickly as possible.
“We are working to serve the community by improving communication and access to our trauma specialists through the use of Polycom technology and enhancing physician speed of access to real time video conferencing through the use of the RealPresence Mobile app,” said Carrasco. “A critical element of our effort is ensuring patients can receive more comprehensive treatment at non-trauma center emergency departments. Polycom video collaboration will enable us to share specialized resources from our Level One Trauma Center across our entire hospital system and with other hospital systems.”
Healthcare organizations the world over are turning to Polycom video collaboration solutions to transform how they learn, teach, and deliver care. Polycom solutions eliminate the distances between patients and caregivers, between physicians and educators, and between medical facilities. Eight of the top 10 U.S. hospitals and all of the top 12 pharmaceutical companies worldwide are Polycom customers, using Polycom technology to reduce patient evaluation times, allow caregivers to treat patients remotely, improve medical education, enhance caregiver productivity and quality of life, streamline hospital operations, reduce costs, and ultimately help save lives.