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Cisco tested new way to deliver health services

More than 90% of the patients were satisfied with the remote care experience and would recommend it to others, results from Cisco HealthPresenceTM pilot programs in Aberdeen, Scotland and San Jose, California show.

Cisco HealthPresence is a patient care delivery concept that combines Cisco TelePresence and medical devices to enable caregivers and patients who may be miles apart to interact in a clinical setting. The unveiling of the pilot results coincided with a joint press conference held by Cisco and UnitedHealth Group in Washington, D.C. where the companies announced they will build the first, nationwide telehealth network delivering healthcare services to rural and underserved areas.

By using a live high-quality video collaboration solution, Cisco HealthPresence makes it more convenient for patients to meet with their doctors and improves the efficiency of delivering the service for the health care provider. Ultimately, it extends the natural reach of health care providers, improves access and optimizes scarce clinical resources. Results of the pilot programs include the following highlights:

More than 95 percent of patients were satisfied with the Cisco HealthPresence experienceMore than 95 percent of patients felt that the visit was confidentialMore than 90 percent would recommend the service to others

Because of the positive responses from employees and physicians, Cisco is planning to expand the pilots to employees on other campuses around the United States, connecting employees to the most appropriate clinical professionals. Cisco and UHG are also working to expand the provider network participating in the pilot to include specialists.

In collaboration with New Zealand's West Coast District Health Board, Gen-i, a Cisco Registered Partner, and Cisco began to test Cisco HealthPresence in July 2008 to evaluate its potential to expand the availability of medical resources and provide patients with convenient and timely access to medical care. Anecdotal feedback from the nursing staff indicate that Cisco HealthPresence is enabling the staff to make quicker and more effective clinical decisions, as well as significantly reduce patient travel requirements. In general, there is strong support from both clinical and administrative staff for the care model.