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Telemedicine poised to treat more patients in health care reform era

December 2nd, 2010

More Americans are turning to technology like video conferencing for their health care, according to a recent article in the St. Petersburg Times.

While telemedicine isn’t new, its popularity is growing as those charged with carrying out the country’s new health reform law try to provide more coverage to more people, while also reducing costs, the article said.

“It’s the wave of the future,” Miami physician Dr. Carmen Alfonso told the St. Petersburg Times. Eventually, she said, more doctors will incorporate telemedicine into their practices.

Changes in insurance practices may also fuel the growth of medical care via video conferencing.

Medicare and Medicaid now reimburse providers for certain types of care through telemedicine, the article said. A growing number of insurance plans are covering it. Companies also include it in employee benefits packages as a way to reduce overall health costs.

Florida resident Samantha Fletcher, took advantage of her company’s telemedicine offerings when she came down with sinus troubles during the summer. She was very impressed with the experience. “I felt I would have gotten the same care from my primary care physician,” she told the Times.

Interested in learning more about telemedicine? Call a VTC Express expert at 877-882-6020.


Cisco Responds as Videoconferencing Expands Beyond the Meeting Room

October 22nd, 2010

Videoconferencing is expanding. A technology formerly reserved for high-end meeting rooms at large companies is now being adopted at small businesses, and in smaller devices.

And companies like Cisco are right there, ready to support the growth of a technology that helps businesses of all sizes reach their goals in a greener and more affordable manner.

In 2006, Cisco introduced their TelePresence Meeting System, which took advantage of high-def displays and audio equipment to unite business professionals across the country and around the world. But those early systems came with a half-million dollar price tag. Competitors swarmed in to offer lower scale, and in some cases lower quality, alternatives for less. After a long look at the playing field, Cisco scaled their TelePresence offering down to accommodate smaller offices and smaller budgets.

This week, Cisco expanded its offerings even further. The company announced their plans to move beyond TelePresence to encompass other videoconferencing methods, as well as other forms of video, including entertainment, surveillance and digital signage, with Medianet, a new software and hardware network infrastructure, reports PCWorld.

The move supports Cisco’s strong belief that video is the future of business. The company’s research shows that clients expect 80 percent of employees will have videoconferencing equipment at their desks in the next five years, PCWorld reports.

This requires new tools and network infrastructure to support high-quality video interactions, Guido Jouret, chief technology officer of Cisco’s Emerging Technologies Group told PCWorld.

“Video not only loads networks, it also changes networks,” Jouret said.

To learn more about videoconferencing technology and how it can save your company money, call a VTC Express expert at 877-882-6020.


Virgin Mobile Cuts Costs and Boosts Productivity with LifeSize HD Video Conferencing

September 1st, 2010

When Virgin Mobile joined forces with India’s Tata Teleservices to form Virgin Mobile India, the frequent travel required by the companies’ executives quickly become too costly and time-consuming.

Knowing that they needed a reliable solution that could be installed quickly, the two companies turned to LifeSize for help.

Virgin Mobile India selected LifeSize Room HD video conferencing systems for the company’s corporate offices in Mumbai and New Delhi. The system’s built-in HD multipoint control unit allows users to establish video calls with up to six other sites, allowing teams in multiple locations to easily collaborate in real time.

LifeSize helped Virgin Mobile India cut their travel costs by 20%. Productivity also increased.

“I never expected video communications to be so mission critical,” said Sanjay Singh, general manager – operations for Virgin Mobile India. “We’ve cut air travel, yet productivity and collaboration have increased because everyone – from product management to marketing and IT – is meeting face to face everyday. Measured by travel savings alone, we realized our ROI in just six months.”

LifeSize systems have been so successful that Virgin Mobile India plans to expand its LifeSize network as the company adds 10 new regional offices over the next two years.

Read the full press release here»

To learn more about LifeSize video conferencing technology and how it can save your company money, call a VTC Express expert at 877-882-6020.


Video Conferencing Equipment Allows Soldiers to Stay in Touch

August 16th, 2010

Since 2003, members of the Maine Troop Greeters, a non-profit that supports armed forces serving overseas, have greeted troops who arrive at Bangor International Airport. Whether coming home or leaving for their deployments, the Greeters ensure soldiers are always received warmly during their layovers in Maine.

The Greeters give the troops heading overseas a snack to tide them over during the long flight. They hand out free cell phones so military members can make a phone call home before shipping off. And now, they have a new tool to help returning armed forces members stay in touch with their families:

Video conferencing equipment.

Starting this week, the Maine Troop Greeters will have videoconferencing equipment on hand so returning servicemen and women can greet their families during their layovers in Maine. The equipment will allow them to say hi in person before they arrive home, according to wbztv.com.

To learn more about the many uses for video conferencing technology, call a VTC Express expert at 877-882-6020.


New LifeSize Solutions Advance HD Video Communications

August 2nd, 2010

LifeSize recently announced a new line of high definition video conferencing solutions to help enterprises – including teleworkers, mobile employees and executives – collaborate more efficiently.

LifeSize’s new HD video communications offerings and product enhancements include:

  • The newest version of the LifeSize system software, Version 4.7, lets organizations share information over the network using the LifeSize Passport system. A new software application, LifeSize Virtual Link, enables this data sharing with the use of a PC or Mac.
  • The Version 4.7 software also enables LifeSize Passport and LGExecutive to stream and record live HD Video.
  • The updated LifeSize Desktop software now supports data sharing and 720p HD transmit capability for more productive discussions and meetings.
  • The new LifeSize Transit Client and server provides a complete state-of-the-art network address translation (NAT) and firewall traversal solution for businesses, to ensure HD video calls can be made reliably both within and outside the organization.
  • The unique Transit Client is the only solution in the market available as either a hardware appliance or a virtual machine option, allowing enterprises to deploy a firewall/NAT traversal solution virtually in their existing server farms without the need to provision extra equipment.

To find the perfect LifeSize HD solution for your video conferencing needs, call a VTC Express expert at 877-882-6020.


Proctor & Gamble Praise Video Conferencing Value

June 30th, 2010

Proctor & Gamble chief information officer Filippo Passerini recently spoke to businessmirror.com about the company’s massive IT investment in the Philippines.

The project, which included video conferencing facilities, has saved the multinational company more than $600 million.

“The center has reduced costs significantly as well as provided local employment opportunities,” said Passerini, noting that the video conferencing technology has cut down requirements for travel for product research. Likewise, technology was also able to reduce product development processes from building prototypes to consumer testing of packaging.

“The intangible benefits include the ability to collaborate and run our business more and more in real time as speed is becoming a major differentiator in the market.”

To learn more about videoconferencing and how it could save your company thousands, call (877) 882-6020.


Videoconferencing Could Save Businesses $19 Billion Over Next Decade

June 22nd, 2010

A recent study by the Carbon Disclosure Project, an international organization dedicated to greener business practices, estimates that US and UK businesses could save $19 billion over the next 10 years by using videoconferencing technology instead of taking business trips, according to the San Jose Business Journal.

The study said organizations could see $400 million in savings the first year alone, easily offsetting the cost of their initial investment.

Videoconferencing technology doesn’t just help the companies’ bottom lines, it also greatly reduces their carbon footprints. Over the next decade, videoconferencing could cut those organizations’ CO2 emissions by 5.5 million metric tons. That’s equivalent to taking 1 million vehicles off the road for a year.

An individual business with four videoconferencing rooms can reduce its CO2 emissions by 2,271 metric tons over five years, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from more than 400 cars, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project.

The study said videoconferencing technology also provides non-monetary incentives for employees, including increased productivity, better work-life balance and faster decision making.

Read the full study here »

To learn more about how videoconferencing technology could boost your organization’s bottom line, call (877) 882-6020.


Meet the VGo Videoconferencing Robot

June 15th, 2010

Meet the VGo, a four-foot tall videoconferencing breakthrough on wheels. The VGo debuted at InfoComm 2010 and simply stole the show.

Tons of people stopped to take pictures and interact with the roving videoconferencing robot.

The VGo offers two-way video and audio. The user can also control the robot’s movements remotely.

Imagine not only being able to see and communicate with others in a teleconference, but also freely moving about the room. With VGo, it’s like you’re actually there.

We expect VGo will revolutionize videoconferencing for small and large business, as well as health care. Just picture a doctor checking on patients remotely, or a manager walking the factory line from the airport.

With VGo, you can truly be two places at once.

Call 877-882-6020 for more information.


South Carolina Hospitals Save Thousands With Video Conferencing Technology

May 24th, 2010

The South Carolina Department of Mental Health recently used Polycom’s video communications technology to deliver psychiatric services to remote patients, according to tmcnet.com. The Polycom system reportedly saved participating South Carolina hospitals more than $100,000 over the first six months of use.

Practitioners say the Polycom system also improves their quality of treatment. For example, doctors can zoom in on the patient’s pupils to determine whether he or she is under the influence of drugs or has had a true psychotic episode.

The Polycom service has resulted in a reported 55 percent drop in the average length of stay for patients, as well as the direct discharge of 40 percent more mental health patients following telepsychiatry consultations.

Teletherapy is catching on around the world.

Canadian researchers recently compared the results of 17 post-traumatic stress victims who received treatment via teleconference to a control group who underwent face-to-face therapy. The study found that both groups benefited equally.

To learn more about video conferencing and how it can help your industry, visit VTCexpress.com.


Video Conferencing Etiquette

May 7th, 2010

Whispering. Checking email. Walking away from the computer.

All are major TelePresence offenses, according to ChannelInsider’s Seven Sins of Video Conferencing.

Despite the miles between participants, video conferences call for the same etiquette as in-person meetings. That means no eating, no side talk and no ESPN.com while you’re on camera.

The Emily Post Institute, the clearinghouse of all things manners, and the University of California also tackled video conferencing protocol. Among their tips: make eye contact with the camera, don’t shout and, of course, turn off your cell phone.

Proper conduct isn’t the only key to a successful video teleconference. Keep in mind that video conferencing is a visual experience.

When setting up your camera, try to fill the screen with people, not the table, the wall, etc. The pan, tilt and zoom features on a VTCExpress system camera helps you focus on the speaker and keep all participants engaged.

Another visual tip – light pastel colors look best on your participants’ screens. Avoid wearing clothes that are too bright, too dark or too busy.

Learn more about video conferencing and TelePresence etiquette at www.vtcexpress.com.