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SHA wins ‘Best Use of Telehealth’ award with Iocom powered solution

Iocom, a leading software provider for video conferencing capabilities, today announced that NHS East of England (a Strategic Health Authority) won its 2010 E-Health Insider Award for best use of telehealth and telecare in delivering 24/7 stroke thrombolysis by using an IOCOM videoconferencing solution. IOCOM offers its congratulations to the health organisation for its determination to change the status quo in the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients through the use of technology.  

The East of England Stroke Networks – part of the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) – asked the ICT Strategy and Special Projects team of the Strategic Health Authority to come up with a solution that would enable 24/7 treatment of stroke patients, particularly thrombolysis, and allow the procedure to be administered to patients in a timely manner regardless of location.

The team developed a system that would allow a patient at any participating hospital in the region to be seen by a qualified stroke consultant working remotely from home or another hospital location. This service proved to be highly successful during a four month pilot and has saved lives and greatly improved the quality of life of a number of other patients. Some patients treated using the solution were able to walk out of the hospital of their own accord, potentially negating severe disability and the need for significant ongoing care. The savings that resulted from avoiding the need for ongoing care of the patients treated during the pilot paid for the solution’s initial cost.

“We are honoured by the EHI award and IOCOM’s video conferencing solution was the ideal product for enabling remote diagnosis of ‘Stroke’ to become possible,” said Anthony Whitaker, Manager of ICT Strategy and Special Projects for the NHS East of England.

“Working with St. Vincent’s Healthcare Consulting and IOCOM, we deployed our own customized packaged system that provides the diagnostic-quality radiology images, visual and audio communication between the patient, hospital staff and the remote consultant. With the fantastic success of the pilot and the capability in place it is now just a matter of delivering the system to the remainder of our 16 hospitals so that they became comfortable with the solution and see the same benefits repeated across our region.”

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Alan Lowe, COO of St. Vincent’s Healthcare Consulting, added: “When we were asked to build a video communications solution for East of England SHA, we had to turn to a technology partner that was equally committed to delivering success. We chose IOCOM because of its advanced technology, the ability to make it work with minimal front-end effort and easy to deploy infrastructure in an NHS setting. Given the performance of our previous medical solutions using IOCOM in various specialities there was only one product we recommend to ensure high quality, reliable and an easy to use solution with a proven track record in the NHS.”
The pilot project undertaken by The NHS East of England uses IOCOM software with a computer on wheels, known as a “COW,” which houses a fixed video camera and audio link. Health providers use specially-equipped laptops that automatically launch the IOCOM video conferencing technology as well as enable them to securely read CT images without having to directly access the hospitals’ systems.

IOCOM provides a software solution to health care organisations that provides nearly unlimited multi-party capability and diagnostic-quality images. Data images transmitted and displayed by IOCOM are superior because they are transmitted in native resolution containing subtle color distinctions necessary for interpreting MRI and X-ray medical images.

“We are thrilled for the NHS East of England to be recognised by E-Health Insider as a result of its work with stroke patients,” said J W Penland, CEO of IOCOM.

“We believe that as more healthcare provider organisations understand the benefits of using video conferencing to improve patient care – and how truly easy it is to get started – they will investigate all we have to offer.”