Polycom Immersive Telepresence Powers the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE)


Polycom Immersive Telepresence Powers the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE) Telehealth to Improve Quality of Healthcare in Northeast Brazil’s Most Remote Areas

Brazilian telehealth network relies on secure HD video collaboration to share advanced expertise among more than 2,000 healthcare professionals and their patients across the region and beyond

Aug 28, 2012, SÃO PAULO

Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in open standards-based unified communications, today announced that Brazil’s Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE) is improving the level of healthcare delivered to patients in hundreds of small towns with help from Polycom® RealPresence® video collaboration solutions.

UFPE recently implemented Polycom® OTX™ immersive solutions, powered by the Polycom® RealPresence® Platform software infrastructure, at UFPE University Hospital in Recife. The solution, which uses immersive HD video to create a shared virtual space, is so natural and realistic that users forget they are on video and interact with one another as if they really are in the same room regardless of location. Polycom's solution serves as a hub for UFPE's Telehealth Nucleus (NUTES) network.

Implemented across several universities, NUTES is responsible for administering the Brazilian Telehealth Network program, which includes the installation and operation of more than 100 telehealth sites in each Brazilian state. Throughout the country, 1,100 telehealth sites are located in primary assistance facilities selected by municipal health officials. The network supports 2,700 family health teams spread over the country's five regions and serving more than 11 million inhabitants.

The Polycom RealPresence OTX room is one of six immersive telepresence rooms located throughout Brazil's teaching and research institutions and launched by the National Teaching and Research Network (RNP). Others are located at Rio de Janeiro State University UERJ (Pedro Ernesto Hospital in Rio de Janeiro), FINEP (Rio de Janeiro), RNP (Brasília), UFMG (Belo Horizonte University Hospital) and UNIFESP (São Paulo Hospital, in São Paulo).

With Polycom video powering its core telehealth efforts via the NUTES network, UFPE is able to offer interactive, face-to-face courses that teach the latest medical advances and breakthroughs to more than 2,000 healthcare professionals. The network is also part of a nationwide telemedicine university network known as RUTE (Rede Universitaria de Telemedicina), which provides a means for the university to offer assistance, education and support to Brazil's Unified Health System, and specialists to remotely participate in clinical discussions and obtain second opinions in difficult cases, all within the high-definition Polycom® RealPresence® Immersive video environment. UFPE officials say Polycom's stunningly realistic video and audio makes it possible for participants to have "across the table"conversations with remote parties. This in turn improves access to expertise, comprehension of information, and team productivity; leads to faster and more precise assessments; and ultimately drives down the cost of delivering care.

"Polycom RealPresence solutions help mitigate the problem of scarce medical specialists in remote areas of Brazil with a telehealth network built on Polycom RealPresence Immersive theater solutions. That network connects urban specialists via high-definition immersive video with remote patients to greatly expand access to expert care,"said Dr. Magdala de Araújo Novaes, coordinator of NUTES and of UFPE's Health Information Technologies Group. "We can also provide professionals with continuing education courses on new procedures and discoveries without making them travel to Recife. As a result, this investment will save money, time and - most importantly - lives."

UFPE plans to expand its reach even further, eventually creating a collaborative network of family health centers located in the state's 185 townships. The goal of the effort is to promote partnerships among public health organizations, create new collaboration opportunities, strengthen the integration of teaching and healthcare delivery services, and enhance the educational platforms available to future generations of physicians, nurses and dentists.

"Brazil has one of the world's largest and best telehealth networks,"said Dr. Luiz Ary Messina, RUTE's national coordinator. "This is in part due to the contribution of universities and teaching hospitals like UFPE, which are helping to make continued and permanent education a tenet of public health policy, to increase cooperative research aimed at meeting the needs of Brazil's population, and to provide specialist care to patients in remote regions. This simply would not be possible without these immersive collaboration environments."

The Polycom RealPresence environment and other RUTE installations will also be central to UFPE's effort to promote the creation of video-equipped health centers where professionals will be able to remotely diagnose patients located in areas where specialist care is unavailable.

Helder Vitorino, RNP project manager, said the immersive environment also will prove helpful for other academic disciplines and day-to-day university business. "The more our teachers, researchers and staff make use of this resource, the more information and knowledge we can share with other universities, and the greater our contribution to learning."

ATelehealth Network Powered by Polycom RealPresence Platform
The Polycom RealPresence Platform provides the video software infrastructure for UFPE's NUTES network. Because the RealPresence Platform is rigorously built on open standards, it is interoperable with a broad range of video solutions that are in use at different institutions—a requirement to prevent "video islands"that can't connect with each other because of technical incompatibilities. Using components of the platform, including the Polycom® RealPresence® Collaboration Server (RMX® Series) and Polycom® RealPresence® Resource Manager (CMA™ Series), to manage multi-party voice, video and content collaboration, faculty, healthcare professionals and clerical staff can engage face-to-face with any facility or institution that uses a standards-based video collaboration platform. Technicians can also record training courses, medical consults and other meetings using Polycom® RSS™ 4000, an easy-to-use, standards-based video recording, streaming, and playback solution that is integrated with the RealPresence Platform.

Polycom recently announced a rich new suite of open APIs for developers, partners, and service providers to integrate business apps such as billing, scheduling, directory, management, and monitoring with the Platform, extending the value of RealPresence video solutions to new industries, new use cases, and new users.

Brazil's DigitalNet implemented the solution. The winner of Polycom's 2011 Global Excellence in Services Award, DigitalNet is a platinum member of the Polycom Partner Network.

About Polycom
Polycom is the global leader in open standards-based unified communications (UC) solutions for telepresence, video, and voice powered by the Polycom® RealPresence® Platform. The RealPresence Platform interoperates with the broadest range of business, mobile, and social applications and devices. More than 400,000 organizations trust Polycom solutions to collaborate and meet face-to-face from any location for more productive and effective engagement with colleagues, partners, customers, specialists, and prospects. Polycom, together with its broad partner ecosystem, provides customers with the best total cost of ownership, interoperability, scalability, and security for video collaboration, whether on-premises, hosted, or cloud-delivered. Visit www.polycom.com or connect with Polycom on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

© 2012 Polycom, Inc. All rights reserved. POLYCOM®, the Polycom logo, and the names and marks associated with Polycom's products are trademarks and/or service marks of Polycom, Inc. and are registered and/or common law marks in the United States and various other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Contacts

Brianna Woon
Polycom, Inc.
Tel: +1 408 586 4072
brianna.woon@polycom.com