As the American Telemedicine Association Expo in Tampa is soon approaching, discussions about the growth and importance of telemedicine are held all over the healthcare world. Early this week, the ATA has called on the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to waive the restrictions on the Medicare telemedicine statute for new accountable care organizations.
“Access to telemedicine is a crucial step toward realizing accountable care organizations visions, and the outdated Medicare restrictions cause a hindrance to those goals,” added ATA’s CEO Jonathan Linkous. In a formal letter written to CMS, ATA has proposed recommendations including home-based medical videoconferencing, among others.
Vidyo today, announced that the Partners Healthcare Telestroke Program at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) – supporting 27 hospitals throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine — has deployed a revolutionary telemedicine communication and collaboration solution based on Vidyo’s platform. 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.
“We were looking for a telemedicine solution with very specific features and benefits,” said Dr. Lee Schwamm, M.D., Director of the Partners Telestroke Center in Boston, and Vice Chairman, Dept. of Neurology/Director of Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital. “The system had to work well, even with suboptimal network quality and also needed to be portable and flexible to allow us to work at a variety of different facilities, to expand our outpatient follow-up, non-acute care and provider-to-provider communications.”
MGH needed Vidyo to be interoperable with installed video conferencing systems at other hospitals outside of the MGH corporate network. The team also 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. They required that Vidyo be very 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; we need to clearly see the pupils in a patient’s eyes,” said Dr. Schwamm.
Vidyo will be at the 2011 ATA Conference in Tampa, Florida, from May 1 to May 4. Feel free to stop by our booth (#1517) and if you want to meet with us for a more in depth chat and demo, contact us!
– Read about Massachusetts General Hospital and Vidyo on today’s Boston Globe article: “Partners stroke care going mobile”
– Full Vidyo press release: “ Massachusetts General Hospital Telestroke Program Chooses Vidyo for Healthcare Video Conferencing and Telemedicine “
– Full ATA press release: “ATA: Removing Medicare Restrictions on Telemedicine is Key for Accountable Care”