Cisco announced results from Cisco HealthPresence pilot programs in Aberdeen, Scotland and San Jose, Calif., which found that more than 90 percent of the patients were satisfied with the remote care experience and would recommend it to others.
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 coincides 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 experience; more than 95 percent of patients felt that the visit was confidential; and more than 90 percent would recommend the service to others.
Conceptualized, designed and piloted by the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group, the company’s global strategic consulting arm, and currently being developed by Cisco’s Advanced Services Healthcare Solutions group, Cisco HealthPresence combines Cisco TelePresence, a live, real-time solution that delivers face-to-face interactions over the network, with call center-like technology and a highly secure telemetry network to deliver medical services at a distance, similar to what one experiences during an in-person visit to a doctor’s office.
Cisco HealthPresence provides a communication and collaboration platform that is designed to help a remote physician evaluate patients based on physiological data derived from a variety of medical devices such as a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, pulse oximeter and other diagnostic equipment. Each Cisco HealthPresence unit is staffed by an attendant trained to operate the medical devices under the instructions of the remote health care professional, who may be hundreds of miles away.
The Scottish Centre for Telehealth, Cisco and the National Health Service are continuing to test Cisco HealthPresence at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in Scotland to provide a remote clinic experience for patients with non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries. Following are the responses from patients (51 percent male, 49 percent female, aged 16 to more than 75) who participated in the Aberdeen trial beginning in January 2008: 99 percent of the patients said they were satisfied with the experience; 95 percent said they felt the visit was confidential; and 93 percent said they would recommend the service.
UnitedHealth Group (UHG) and Cisco, in partnership with HealthCare Partners began a pilot of Cisco HealthPresence with Cisco employees at Cisco’s San Jose headquarters in October 2008 to determine its usefulness as an alternative to in-person doctor’s visits. UHG coordinated the administrative processes for the visits to include scheduling, physicians’ payments, the coordination of benefits, and the network availability of clinical services. Responses from the patients who participated in the San Jose pilot follow: 97 percent said they were able to communicate effectively with health care professionals using the service; 98 percent said they were comfortable using the technology; and 90 percent said they would recommend the service.
Cisco is planning to expand the Cisco HealthPresence pilots to employees on other campuses around the United States, connecting Cisco employees to the most appropriate clinical professionals. Cisco and UHG are also working to expand the provider network participating in the Cisco HealthPresence 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.