Polycom Helps 35 Healthcare Institutions in 13 Countries Improve Training and Patient Care with Polycom Telepresence

Award-Winning International Virtual e-Hospital Uses Polycom Telepresence For Face-to-Face Distance Learning and Training in Kosovo and Across Europe, the Middle East, and North and South America

Sep 7, 2011, PLEASANTON, Calif.

Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), a global leader in unified communications (UC), and the International Virtual e-Hospital (IVeH) have partnered on a new model that enables medical professionals to collaborate via video and share their expertise across 35 healthcare and academic institutions globally, thanks to an innovative Polycom video collaboration program that has helped rebuild Kosovo's medical system. With its success clearly demonstrated, the model is now being deployed more broadly in new regions outside the Balkans including Africa, the Middle East, South Eastern Europe, and South America.

The world-renowned International Virtual e-Hospital (IVeH) was established in 2001 by Dr. Rifat Latifi to create sustainable telemedicine and e-health programs around the world and to rebuild medical systems in developing countries. Launched as the Telemedicine Program of Kosovo (TPK), the program has since connected seven Kosovan hospitals via telemedicine and provided access to an electronic medical library for distance learning with video facilities in Albania, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Germany, Italy, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, UK, and the U.S.

Each telemedicine center in Kosovo contains video collaboration rooms, tele-consultation rooms, and telemedicine training rooms, as well as mobile telepresence units in patient rooms which results in better patient care and improved trainings and resources for hospital physicians and staff. The video rooms are equipped with a Polycom high-definition room video collaboration system supported by a central Polycom® RSS™ 2000 video recording and streaming solution. The RSS 2000 solution is a centralized server used by each center for recording, streaming, and archiving multimedia conferences and training sessions. This saves time and resources while extending communication and enabling knowledge-sharing throughout Kosovo and international medical communities.

"The Polycom video conferencing solution helps us quickly share knowledge, train the next generation of medical providers, and conduct consultations with worldwide experts to ultimately improve patient care," said Dr. Latifi, IVeH founder. "Thanks to the access to the World Health Organization's (WHO) medical library as well as experts around the world, regional telemedicine centers are now able to develop their own educational programs based on this vast resource; this electronic library logged approximately 54,000 visits within the first three years of operation. The telemedicine centers provide us with a timely, reliable, and accessible way to bring content, experts, and organizations together in a more productive and cost-efficient way."

Background: The Existing Infrastructure
The medical infrastructure of Kosovo was left in a poor state by wars, underfunding, and bad management. An entire generation of medical graduates after the Balkan wars of the 1990s had not seen a patient in a clinical environment throughout their entire education, and many medical school classes were held in the basements of homes. Additionally, many older professors, surgeons, and other doctors had not practiced advanced medicine or surgery for more than a decade. For Dr. Latifi, telemedicine and medical distance learning were the only practical solutions for developing countries such as Kosovo.

Delivering Life-Saving Medical Resources
With government approval in place, as well as backing by the European Agency for Reconstruction (EAR), seven telemedicine centers were established throughout Kosovo with tele-consultation rooms and telemedicine training rooms. Mobile Polycom units are also located at patients' bedsides to allow real-time collaboration with specialist physicians in other countries. This contributes to better consultations and improved patient care. The IVeH delivers powerful educational tools to medical personnel at the right time. As a result, tens of thousands of doctors, nurses, other healthcare professionals and IT personnel can be trained on how to use telemedicine and e-health applications through interactive, hands-on lectures. In addition, the telemedicine program introduced life-saving resources and procedures to Kosovo hospitals through external medical libraries and other expert resources.

For more details, visit www.polycom.com

Notes to editors:
Award Winning
IVeH recently celebrated becoming the winners of the 21st Century Achievement award in the health category, Computerworld Honors Program awards, presented to Dr. Latifi on June 20, 2011.

The Healthcare and Academic Network

  • The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA
  • Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, USA
  • Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA
  • Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria
  • University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Dental School, Germany
  • Department of Prosthetic Dentistry, Dresden, Germany
  • University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
  • University Hospital "Thomas Jefferson," Philadelphia, USA
  • Royal College of London, London, United Kingdom
  • Terra Nova University, Terra Nova, Brazil
  • University of Amasonas, Manaus, Brazil
  • Sao Paulo University, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • King Saud University, Saudi Arabia
  • Johns Hopkins, Faculty of Medicine, Baltimore, USA
  • University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania
  • University of Prishtina, Prishtina, Kosova
  • New York University, New York, USA
  • Kokkola University, Kokkola, Finland
  • University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
  • DAAD (Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst), Germany
  • U.S. Military Medical Battalion, Camp Bondsteel, Ferizaj, Kosovo
  • St. Michael's Hospital, New Jersey, USA
  • Center for Quality, Insurance and Accreditation of Albania, Tirana, Albania
  • Hamburg-Ependorf, Institute of Biochemistry and Endocrinology, Hamburg, Germany
  • Aethra Corporation, Italy
  • University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
  • Tromso Hospital, Finland
  • Hitchcock, Vermont, USA
  • Meditac, Virginia, USA
  • Nebraska University, Nebraska, USA
  • Rikshospitalet, Oslo, Norway
  • Rochester Institute of Technology, New York, USA
  • University of Gjovik, Finland
  • World Bank, Washington, USA
  • WIRED, Washington, USA

About Polycom
Polycom, Inc. is a global leader in unified communications solutions with industry-leading telepresence, video, voice, and infrastructure solutions built on open standards. Polycom powers smarter conversations, transforming lives and businesses worldwide. Please visit www.polycom.com for more information or connect with Polycom on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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Ellen Topp Polycom, Inc. Tel: +1 925 924 5865 ellen.topp@polycom.com