Polycom Video Collaboration Helps NHS Cumbria & Lancashire Cardiac and Stroke Network (CSNLC) Speed Treatment and Save Lives

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Using Polycom Video Collaboration Technology, 15 stroke consultants from 6 participating Acute Trusts* connecting 8 hospitals are able to take stroke specialists to the patient enabling timely diagnosis and treatment, saving lives and over £8 million a year

Polycom Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in standards-based unified communications (UC), today announced that the NHS Cumbria & Lancashire Cardiac and Stroke Network ( CSNLC) is saving the lives of stroke victims by connecting patients with remote doctors in the time-critical early intervention stage of stroke using Polycom RealPresence high-definition video collaboration solutions. Polycom video solutions include mobile Practitioner carts* in each of the six Acute Trusts in Cumbria and Lancashire and personal video collaboration software* running on laptops in each of the consulting physician’s homes.

The need for an around the clock stroke service was the key driver behind the project. The combined NHS Trusts of Lancashire & Cumbria selected Polycom RealPresence video solutions as part of a new state of the art ‘telestroke’ service. Installed at the end of July 2011, the service has already positively impacted the treatment of 26 stroke patients in Cumbria and Lancashire by providing access to Thrombolysis treatment around the clock. “In addition to huge patient benefits, the service is anticipated to save Lancashire & Cumbria NHS Trusts over £8million a year,” said Kathy Blacker, Director of the CSNLC.

With Polycom video collaboration, patients get round-the-clock, on-demand, face-to-face access to expert specialist care – no matter where the patients or the consulting doctors are located. Fifteen consultant stroke physicians are on call from home covering the service out of hours and supporting clinicians in each of the eight hospitals, servicing approximately 2.2 million people across the region. Polycom video collaboration software for laptops are used by the 15 consulting stroke physicians that are on call from their homes. Each consultant has a laptop equipped with Polycom videoconferencing software, which they use to connect to any of the six hospitals via a Polycom Practitioner Cart* at the patient’s bedside. Controlling a camera remotely, the specialist can see the detailed clinical examination performed by the clinician at the bedside. This results in more effective and productive use of scarce medical expertise through video, faster treatment times and improved outcomes for patients.

After reviewing the requirements for the area and considering all options, the CSNLC selected MultiSense Communications, a Polycom Healthcare Solution Provider, to deploy Polycom video solutions, along with other key technology partners including Virgin Media and Imerja to support the service. Funding was made available by the NHS to cover the cost of the equipment which included high-speed broadband technology to remotely connect eight Polycom Practitioner carts to each of the eight hospitals.

Dr. Mark O’Donnell, Stroke Consultant at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Clinical Lead for the CSNLC said: “If a patient arrives in hospital with a stroke, outside the normal working day, a Telestroke consultation will then be commenced. The Polycom Practitioner cart contains a screen so the patient can see the consultant remotely and a camera for the consultant to view the patient. The consultant is then able to perform an examination with the help of the team in the hospital to decide whether the symptoms experienced are due to a stroke and whether Thrombolysis (the use of drugs to break up or dissolve blood clots) treatment is appropriate.”

“Thrombolysis treatment,” added Dr. O’Donnell, can only be given to patients within four hours of the onset of their stroke – so time is crucial, and Telestroke helps improve the speed of patient diagnosis. We are using Polycom video collaboration technology to take the stroke specialists to the patient, rather than moving the patient long distances, around rural areas, to where the specialists work. In an acute stroke, time is of the essence and the sooner treatments can be provided, the better.”

Notes to Editors

To see the full video on how Polycom is helping NHS Cumbria and Lancashire to save lives, please visit http://www.polycom.co.uk/industry_view/healthcare

The six Trusts participating in the Telestroke Network and providing consultants for the service are:

  •     Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  •     East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust
  •     Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  •     Southport and Ormskirk Foundation Trust
  •     University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust
  •     North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

Of the Trusts involved, Telestroke will be at the following eight hospital sites:

  •     Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle
  •     West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven;
  •     Furness General Hospital, Barrow;
  •     Royal Lancaster Infirmary;
  •     Blackpool Victoria Hospital;
  •     Royal Preston Hospital;
  •     Royal Blackburn Hospital
  •     Southport General Hospital..

*Polycom® Practitioner Cart™ HDX® Unit
Polycom Practitioner Cart mobile healthcare solutions bring high definition video, audio and image sharing to medical professionals and patients no matter where they are located

**Polycom® Video Collaboration Software for laptops
Polycom® video collaboration software for laptops delivers HD-quality audio, video, and content sharing to users of Microsoft® Windows® OS. Its intuitive and simplified interface lets users search directories for colleagues and click a name to call, discuss projects, and share virtually anything from their desktop with remote participants and teams.

About Polycom
Polycom is the global leader in 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, and prospects. Polycom, together with its broad partner ecosystem, provides customers with the best TCO, scalability, and security – on-premises, hosted, or cloud delivered. Visit http://www.polycom.co.uk or connect with Polycom on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

NOTE: The product plans, specifications and descriptions herein are provided for information only and subject to change without notice, and are provided without warranty of any kind, express or implied.

© 2012 Polycom, Inc. All rights reserved. POLYCOM®, the Polycom “Triangles” 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.

Sarah Brambley         
Polycom, Inc. (UK)
+44 (0)1753 723130

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