Virtual exam room in the works for 2013

Aug. 1, 2011


A joint development effort by UPMC and Alcatel-Lucent aims to provide users with a virtual exam room by 2013. The solution will offer real-time clinical encounters using a secure Web portal designed to fit the workflow of healthcare providers and patients on the go. Patients will have access to both scheduled and emergency care from any location at any time through a variety of mobile devices using video and audio communication among multiple participants in multiple locations. At the same time, the system will securely generate, retrieve and store patient data “in a clinically relevant way.”

The platform is being developed along with Bell Labs, Alcatel-Lucent’s research arm, making use of advanced technologies such as immersive and cloud-based communications. Rebecca Kaul, president of UPMC’s Technology Development Center, will co-manage the effort and help to oversee development teams in Pittsburgh and New Jersey.

“The challenge involved in creating this next-generation telemedicine system is designing a true multi-point communication platform that allows everyone involved in the medical case to securely view the same data and medical records at the same time regardless of the communication device used,” says Sid Ahuja, vice president of Alcatel-Lucent Ventures, who will co-manage the initiative. “With cloud-based technologies, services and software applications are delivered from the Internet rather than a dedicated enterprise network in a single location, enabling a new level of medical collaboration and information sharing via secure real-time audio, video and data links.”

UPMC will consolidate its extensive telemedicine offerings on the new platform, with the goal of lowering costs and improving access to high-quality care.

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