Cisco Advances India Telemedicine Program

Cisco and Asian healthcare giant Apollo Hospitals said they had a plan to accelerate access to care with the Cisco HealthPresence Extended Reach technology 
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Cisco is moving along in its multi-pronged initiative to connect the far-flung populations of India with services and resources through technology.

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Cisco HealthPresence Extended Reach

Friday, Cisco and Asian healthcare giant Apollo Hospitals said they had a plan to accelerate access to care with the Cisco HealthPresence Extended Reach technology.

As a first step, the Apollo Hospitals Group and the Apollo Telemedicine Foundation deployed hundreds of the Extended Reach solution across Apollo remote clinics and hospitals, enabling patient access to any doctor across the Apollo system.

"We are looking beyond India in deploying this technology. Doctor--anyone, anytime, anywhere will be our slogan," said K. Ganapathy, president of Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation and president-elect of the Telemedicine Society of India.

"At Apollo Hospitals, we constantly endeavor to introduce new models to help make quality health care accessible to the masses,” said Sangita Reddy, executive director of Apollo Hospitals Group. “The alliance with Cisco will revolutionize the delivery of health care in India. Cisco HealthPresence Extended Reach technology represents significant advances in technology and telecommunication techniques, effectively delivering health care 24x7 remotely." As part of this initiative, Cisco and Apollo have collaborated in Raichur (Karnataka, South India) to demonstrate how health care in rural areas can be transformed. With the technology, doctors do not need to visit a telemedicine room to connect with patients; they can now consult with patients from a laptop supported by an Internet connection. A detailed 'clinical examination' and review of all investigations is now possible with the option of recording the entire interaction.

“Collaborative technologies, powered by ubiquitous broadband access, will enable access to affordable and high-quality health care services in rural and urban communities,” said Wim Elfrink, chief globalisation officer and executive vice president of Cisco Services. “We believe communities, cities, countries and individual lives can be transformed by providing access to socially, economically and environmentally sustainable solutions."

Apollo Hospitals Group has a network of more than 9,000 beds across 52 hospitals, plus health insurance services, clinical research divisions, 10 nursing colleges and two hospital management colleges.

Cisco has been active in networking India for some time. In March, the company announced a plan to participate in the government’s Common Service Centres (CSC) program, a cornerstone of its National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) with 250,000 CSCs planned across 600,000 villages.

That planned also called for use of the cloud-based Cisco Remote Education Centre, an education platform with the ability to support 30,000 simultaneous classes, and for HealthPresence.

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